Beyond Thankful has completed a rare double of feature races; franking his win in the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) a fortnight ago when taking out the 2015 Newcastle Cup (2300m) by a head this afternoon.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Hugh Bowman settled Beyond Thankful in ideal running position off the pace of early leaders Zee Zeely, Nissile and Just As Cosmic who flew the barriers and ensured plenty of pace in the 2015 Newcastle Cup.
Receiving an ideal run in transit on the barriers a little worse than mid-pack, Beyond Thankful appeared to be blocked for a run with just a little too much to do upon rounding onto the final straight but mustered a monumental turn of foot late to pip French import Orbec in the final 50m; Rio Perdido boxing on for third.
Trainer Chris Waller secured his first Newcastle Cup win via Beyond Thankful this afternoon, and stable representative Matt Cumani was thrilled with Beyond Thankful’s performance for success but said the team is yet to confirm if he will progress to a run in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick in a fortnight.
“He’s a great horse, he just keeps pulling it out,” Cumani said after the race.
“He’s been on the go for a long time and Hughie knows him better than anybody and think and just rode him beautifully today.
“It was a tricky run today from the awkward draw but Hughie kept him outside, sacrificing being four off the rail but it was perfect in the end, he likes being out on the outside by himself.
“The question now is whether he can now go up in trip and in grade, but he’s done more than what’s been asked for him.”
Bowman delivered a gem of a ride on Beyond Thankful to win the 2015 Newcastle Cup and echoed Cumani’s sentiments on a possible berth in The Metropolitan.
“Personally I didn’t think he was quite as well placed here at Newcastle because of the bigger track and I felt the 2300m might be a bit further than his best distance,” Bowman said.
“That’s why I rode him a bit differently but you get on these Chris Waller horses when they’re in form and they hold it well and you go into any race whether you think conditions suit or not with confidence.
“It was a nice tempo – I thought it was an even gallop which suited me but this horse is just in great form, that’s his fourth win for the prep.
“That (The Metropolitan) would be a fair step up class wise but he certainly deserves his chance if Chris thinks it’s a worthwhile option.”
In taking out the 2015 Newcastle Cup, Beyond Thankful has now posted eight wins and nine minors through a total of 35 career starts.