Goliath owner Lloyd Williams spoilt the Chris Waller show in the Sydney Cup 2016 scoring an upset win over the favourite Libran with the Robert Hickmott-trained import Gallante at Randwick Racecourse.
Waller ran the quinella in last year’s $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) and was back 12 months later with the top three in betting for the two mile classic.
There was big money late however for the Team Williams-raced Montjeu gelding Gallante coming off a third to Libran in the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) on March 19.
Libran went on to win last Saturday’s Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) to make the Sydney Cup field, while five-year-old Gallante was given the break between runs before tackling his first 3200m race.
From the outside barrier in the 11 starter line-up, Gallante and jockey Kerrin McEvoy were quick away settling into the lead.
He led from Like A Carousel with Auvray in third from Café Society who was racing fourth with cover just ahead of the Chairman’s winner and race favourite Libran.
Waller’s reigning Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal, coming off a Group 1 The BMW (2400m) third, was tucked away on the fence by his hoop James McDonald in a mid-field position.
Runner-up last year, Who Shot Thebarman meanwhile was back at the tail end of the field with Almoonqith with a lap to go.
Grand Marshal was travelling fourth last and Libran in midfield position at the half-way point, Gallante still up front setting a steady pace and looking to be doing it easy.
Around the bend for home the field bunched, Libran moving up to a clear second with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle of the in-form Lawman five-year-old continuing his association.
While the challenges came, Gallante ($10) wouldn’t be run down relishing the extra distance and the step back from 57kg to 51.5kg in the Sydney Cup, leading all-the-way to beat home Libran ($4.20) while Grand Marshal ($5) crossed for third.
McEvoy always looked confident up front knowing he was on a genuine stayer and following instructions from Macedon Lodge’s Lloyd Williams to ride the horse the way Frankie Dettori did Golden Horn in last year’s Arc in France.
“It’s a great thrill to win this for Lloyd and the whole team,” McEvoy said, the jockey celebrating his second Sydney Cup success after the winning ride on Honor Babe back in 2003.
“Lloyd just had a heap of confidence and said the horse was flying.
“We were able to pull it off.”
Co-owner and son of Williams Nick said the team had targeted the Sydney Cup for a long time with this horse and that the sting out of the ground helped today.
“To win this race that’s been going for a long, long time of course it’s very exciting,” he said.
“We’re lucky to have won it four times.
“We knew he (Gallante) was a great stayer and he just needed some give out of the ground, which he got today.”
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2016 Sydney Cup Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 09/04/2016
|1||7||GALLANTE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||–||11||51.5kg||$10|
|2||4||LIBRAN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||1.3L||3||53kg||$4F|
|3||3||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||1.5L||6||55kg||$5.50|
|4||1||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||5L||5||57kg||$4.40|
|5||2||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Hugh Bowman||7.1L||10||55.5kg||$6|
|6||9||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Blake Spriggs||8.7L||7||51kg (cd 51.5kg)||$101|
|7||6||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||8.9L||1||52.5kg||$26|
|8||8||CAFE SOCIETY (FR)||Gai Waterhouse||Chad Schofield||9.1L||9||51kg||$14|
|9||10||DEE I CEE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||13.7L||4||51kg||$31|
|10||5||AUVRAY (FR)||John P Thompson||Tommy Berry||28L||8||53kg||$31|
|11||11||BAYANOVA (NZ)||Michael Kent||Ms Jackie Beriman||43.9L||2||51kg||$81|