The headline event at the final Royal Randwick Autumn Carnival meeting today, the 2012 Sydney Cup, has been run and won with late favourite Niwot holding on in a super finish with gallant old grey Efficient to take the title.
Prepared by father and sons training team John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes Galileo seven-year-old Niwot, who in recent years has defied the odds making an extraordinary comeback from injury, saluted for the punters that backed them into $4 favouritism through bookmaker.com.au to win the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) today.
It was the second Sydney Cup win for John Hawkes who won back in 1994 with Cross Swords and really a remarkable effort from a horse that suffered a career threatening injury just three years ago when they shattered their knee in a freak accident in the paddock.
“He’s a horse that’s had a lot of injuries, he was out in the paddock a long time,” Hawkes said after today’s win.
“There’s nothing like winning and to be able to win a Sydney Cup again is great.
“He’s not an easy horse to train…It’s just great to see him win a race like this.
“To finish the carnival and win a Sydney Cup it’s been delightful.”
After 18 months off the scene they came back better than ever rewarding connections, including co-owner Andrew Ramsden, with a stakes win five runs back in the aptly named 2011 Andrew Ramsden Stakes over the two miles at Flemington.
Winner of last year’s The Lexus Stakes Niwot went on to finish the best of the Aussies in the 2011 Melbourne Cup when a brave eighth and has been racing in excellent fashion leading up to their grand final today with fourth place finishes behind Manighar in the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW.
Living up to their name, Niwot being ‘to win’ backwards, the rising eight-year-old jumped favourite for a reason, the punters backing two mile experience and the horse didn’t disappoint.
In well-timed ride by Dwayne Dunn Niwot settled back on the fence early with the likes of Once Were Wild and Solid Billing setting a hectic pace for a two-mile showdown.
On the home straight Solid Billing kept the lead with Once Were Wild creeping closer, eventually taking top spot with 300-metres to go.
Niwot however was coming hard and fast down the outside while Efficient was making ground down the middle.
Of the many chances coming round the turn Niwot had had the right run back off the speed and made his charge at the right time, bringing it home to finish clear of Efficient with Gai Waterhouse’s mare Once Were Wild, run out of her skin having been up on the speed in a strongly run race to battle on in a terrific effort, finishing third.
Proving to be the best stayer the well-backed favourite was the deserved winner.
It was also an eye-catching run and marvelous training effort with Sydney Cup runner-up Efficient, the 2007 Melbourne Cup winner proving their owner Lloyd Williams right with a super effort to come from five off the back and deep into second.
Dunn was pleased with Niwot’s staying effort today, and was also quick to credit veteran of the field Efficient.
“He’s always worked up through to this race and this was his grand final and he’s come through,” Dunn said of the Sydney Cup winner.
“He settled so lovely in the run, giving a nice little kick off the top of the straight.
“Obviously Efficient’s run a super race to duck back inside and run second.”
One time Sydney Cup favourite Permit who was out for their third win on the trot went amiss half way through.
They are part-owned by the same interests as the eventual winner and Ramsden confirmed the horse was okay but that jockey Kerrin McEvoy thought they had bled and pulled them up immediately.
“The horse (Permit) is okay, Kerrin thought it had bled but it hadn’t…hopefully it will be okay,” Ramsden said.
“I was expecting a little bit better but we’ll settle for Niwot hey.
“It (the Sydney Cup) has eluded me and now it hasn’t you could say!
“Today was the day, it always has been the day, and he’s worked along nicely to get there.”
There is still plenty of action left on the Randwick race card this afternoon with a crack Cox Plate-esque field next to line up for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
It’s not too late to get into the action so hurry to our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au and join quoting the code BONUSBET to enjoy the best horse racing odds AND a $300 bonus bet!
2012 Sydney Cup Results & Finishing Order
Royal Randwick Race 6 – 28/04/2012
|1||3||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||2||55.5kg||$4.20F|
|2||1||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Michael Rodd||0.4L||9||58kg||$11|
|3||5||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||0.9L||11||55kg||$31|
|4||13||NEXTANIX||Kerry Parker||Peter Robl||2.7L||8||53.5kg||$26|
|5||12||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Brenton Avdulla||2.9L||10||53.5kg||$18|
|6||15||PEAL OF BELLS||Gwenda Markwell||Peter Wells||3.1L||1||53.5kg||$31|
|7||4||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Craig Williams||3.3L||13||55.5kg||$12|
|8||9||OLDER THAN TIME||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4.1L||14||53.5kg||$9.50|
|9||16||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||Jay Ford||5.9L||5||53.5kg||$101|
|10||11||SOLID BILLING||Craig Ritchie||Cameron Lammas||6.3L||4||53.5kg||$101|
|11||6||HAWK ISLAND (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||6.4L||12||55kg||$31|
|12||2||DRUNKEN SAILOR (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||7.2L||6||57kg||$5.50|
|13||7||STAND TO GAIN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Rod Quinn||25.2L||7||54kg||$151|
|14||14||OUR SERENA||David Payne||Christian Reith||27.7L||16||53.5kg||$201|
|15||10||HANKS||Peter G Moody||James McDonald||32.2L||15||53.5kg||$51|
|FF||8||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||3||53.5kg||$4.60|