Things panned out perfectly on Saturday for this season’s Winter Cup 2016 favourite Tucanchoo who posted an easy win for the punters at Rosehill Gardens.
Only seven runners lined-up in the $100,000 Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m) on Civic Stakes Day with the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Tucanchoo clear $2.70 favourite at the jump.
The flying Pentire six-year-old was shooting for his third win from four starts this time in and was out to improve on a close second to Index Linked at Eagle Farm the Saturday before in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m).
He handled the seven day back-up and the step up to 2400m without a concern, jockey Christian Reith riding him to a one and a quarter-length victory over Chris Waller’s 61kg top weight Junoob ($8.50).
It was Reith’s first ride aboard Tucanchoo under race conditions and the hoop did well to slip into a spot behind Junoob and settle in a race lacking a leader or pace.
“The most important thing was to get my fella into a good rhythm and get him to relax,” Reith told the Sydney Morning Herald post-win.
“Once I got to the 600, I knew I had the race within my grasp. I had enjoyed an easy run and my horse was full of running.”
Rounding out the Winter Cup trifecta in a distant third over four lengths off the winner was then the David Payne-trained Foreign Prince ($4) having his first look at the mile and a half on the back of successive wins at the track over less distance.
Jockey Jason Collett was frustrated he had been instructed to ride High Chaparral five-year-old Foreign Prince off the pace in the Winter Cup after the horse had lead all the way for his earlier wins this campaign with apprentice Deanne Panya in the saddle.
“I wanted to lead but my instructions were not to,” he said.
“He ran the 2400m but I was the same margin from the winner at the end as I was at the top of the straight.”
The Winter Cup result saw Hawkes Racing’s progressive stayer Tucanchoo enjoy his fourth win from his past five dating back to early March and was also his maiden stakes’ success at career start number 20.
Reith is confident that despite being a rising seven-year-old the best could still be to come for Tucanchoo, which bodes well ahead of the upcoming Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is still learning and still improving,” the hoop said.
Team Hawkes’ stable representative Tania Rouse described Tucanchoo as relaxed and easy to train galloper who handled travel well.
“This horse has done a lot of travelling but he is a credit to the system as he is so used to travelling up and down the freeway — he doesn’t bat an eyelid,” Rouse said.
“The key to him was to get him to relax and Christian was able to do that — and the horse did the rest.”
Even rival hoop Blake Shinn who guided runner-up Junoob to his second stakes placing from three runs after a third in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on June 11, admitted Tucanchoo looked a stayer to watch.
“I thought Junoob tried his guts out,” Shinn said on Saturday.
“The better racing surface helped him today and he has run a great race.
“But he has run into an improving horse in Tucanchoo who looks to have a future as a stayer — and the winner had 7kg less than Junoob.”
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2016 ATC Winter Cup Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 4 – 02/07/2016
|1||4||TUCANCHOO (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||–||5||54kg||$2.70F|
|2||1||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||1.3L||4||61kg||$8.50|
|3||2||FOREIGN PRINCE (NZ)||David Payne||Jason Collett||4.3L||6||56kg||$4|
|4||5||JIAYUGUAN (IRE)||John P Thompson||Sam Clipperton||5.8L||1||54kg||$9|
|5||3||LOOPHOLE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||5.9L||2||54.5kg||$5|
|6||7||SWIFT LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||8.8L||7||54kg||$31|
|7||6||FIRST BLOOM||Greg Bennett||Ms Kathy O’Hara||10.5L||3||54kg||$20|