David Hayes has won his first Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) since 2009 and his first with new co-trainer Tom Dabernig. Returning to the winner’s circle in style, Hayes scored the $1 million race quinella with Spillway and Extra Zero and there was barely anything between the stable mates.
Entirely Platinum was very fast away from the gates while The Cleaner made his way up the field to lead as usual, ahead of Entirely Platinum, Greatwood, and Lidari.
Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist was a long way back with 800 metres to go and never came on in the race, something trainer Kris Lees was always fearful of.
Spillway began to make his way up the outside with 200 metres to go while race favourite Happy Trails fought back from a backwards position.
There was just one millimeter between Spillway and Extra Zero on the line, which had to go to a photo finish, while Paul Beshara scored third place with Happy Trails. Mick Burles’ The Cleaner enjoyed a great run, finishing two and a quarter lengths away in fourth.
Punters across the country were waiting for the result with bated breath as the photo would reveal a vastly different story for their betting accounts. Spillway was offering odds of $13 to win the 2015 Australian Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au while Extra Zero was a roughie at $101.
Michael Walker delivered the winning ride on Spillway and was happy to win the race for Hayes & Dabernig.
“I wanted that one bad, I really wanted that one bad,” Walker said after the race.
“I just wanted to repay David and Tom and all the owners and all the staff for all the trust that they put in me.
“I had the most economical run in the race and I didn’t let him go until about 250 out and then I saw the stablemate, but I am wrapped and I dedicate that one to my kids back home.”
Needless to say it was the best career result for both horses. Spillway last won the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) in April last year but failed to place in seven of his eight subsequent starts, four of which were at the highest level of racing, while eight-year-old Extra Zero had his first Group One start since 2011.
Hayes admitted that even he thought Extra Zero had won the 2015 Australian Cup for a moment.
“Old Extra nearly upset the apple cart,” he said.
“He was bought for the Darwin Cup and he missed out on that because of the tragedy, but he nearly won this race.
“It was the most pleasant photo that I have been involved in for a while.
“I actually thought Extra Zero won and I was wrong again.
“He (Spillway) has been running thirds and fourths all the time and I thought knocking on the door.
“I just asked Michael to make him arrive inside the clock tower and he did and he was good enough to hang on.
“He gave all the good horses a start and a beating, so full credit to them both actually.”
2015 Australian Cup Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||15||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||–||8||59kg||$13|
|2||5||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||0.1L||16||59kg||$101|
|3||3||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||1.35L||4||59kg||$4F|
|4||7||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Steven Arnold||2.35L||9||59kg||$26|
|5||1||RED CADEAUX (GB)||Ed Dunlop||Hugh Bowman||2.45L||14||59kg||$12|
|6||14||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.55L||1||59kg||$31|
|7||10||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2.75L||11||59kg||$11|
|8||2||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||Craig Williams||4.5L||3||59kg||$4.20|
|9||4||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||5.25L||5||59kg||$10|
|10||9||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5.35L||6||59kg||$101|
|11||8||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Craig Newitt||5.45L||2||59kg||$51|
|12||16||GREATWOOD (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Chad Schofield||5.65L||12||59kg||$51|
|13||6||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Vlad Duric||6.05L||13||59kg||$10|
|14||11||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||6.45L||10||59kg||$15|
|15||12||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||7.2L||15||59kg||$31|
|16||13||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Chris Symons||10.45L||7||59kg||$151|