Evergreen veteran sprinter Our Boy Malachi could be Perth-bound for the Winterbottom Stakes after a slashing late run to win the Caulfield Sprint 2016 from the back on Caulfield Cup Day.
The “Rockhampton Rocket” was back in the winners’ stall for the 19th time at his 26 career start enjoying the second-up victory for Team Hawkes in the $200,000 Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m).
An eight-year-old son of Top Echelon, Our Boy Malachi continues to show a great zest for racing and isn’t slowing down despite his age holding off a smart field in his first look around the Caulfield track.
Posting his first victory since the first-up effort at Rosehill in January’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m), the old warhorse was partnered by an in-form Dwayne Dunn in the Caulfield Sprint.
Dunn took over for Christian Reith in the saddle who rode the horse first-up when beaten only a nostril flare at home in Sydney’s Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) by the winner Takedown on October 1.
Travelling south, Our Boy Malachi was well-weighted coming down to 57kg in the short-distance handicap and was given a perfectly-timed and patient ride by Dunn.
The Lindsay Park-trained Faatinah, coming off a sixth to The Quarterback in Flemington’s Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), was one of the first to jump and settled second behind the pace-maker Sunday Escape.
The rest of the field were happy to take a sit and look for cover from the headstrong wind blowing at Caulfield.
Take Pride settled third just ahead of the comeback champion Lankan Rupee, Mick Price’s multiple Group 1 winning sprinter having his first run in a year off a lengthy injury-forced break.
Roughie Sunday Escape led the Caulfield Sprint field into the home turn, while Craig Newitt was waiting for the run aboard $4 million earner Lankan Rupee.
The returning Redoute’s Choice seven-year-old struggled to get the gap, while race favourite Wild Rain was being hard ridden by her hoop Stephen Baster trying to work into the mix.
Lankan Rupee finally got through, but it was Our Boy Malachi ($4.20) flying home down the outside.
He hit the lead 50m out from the line and in an impressive last-to-first effort he held off Faatinah ($5) with Lankan Rupee ($7) in a nice return finishing off the Caulfield Sprint trifecta in third.
It was a flying late run from the Caulfield Sprint winner who made up all the ground, swooping around them late and displaying a freakish turn of foot to sprint home after the good sit with cover throughout.
A beautiful ride from Dunn producing a dominant win, while Faatinah did well to hold for second ahead of Lankan Rupee who did well after getting caught-up for that run in the vital stages.
“It’s been a great carnival so far and full credit to Team Hawkes,” winning hoop Dunn said post-race.
“It’s good to see the old Rockhampton Rocket come to the races today.
“It was always going to be a bit sticky from the barrier…I rode him a bit patiently today and he finished off beautifully.
“Horses don’t win this many in a row if they’re no good.”
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was full of post-race praise for both Dunn and Our Boy Malachi whose spring options include the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5 as well as a trip to Perth for Ascot’s $1 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on November 26.
“For him to do what he’s done for an eighty-year-old old gelding, that’s as good a win as we’ll get over the spring carnival,” Hawkes said.
“He’s an eight year old only and he’s only come to Melbourne last Friday morning, so he’s done a great job.
“He’s a winner. You don’t make excuse for winners.
“The Darley’s there…there’ll be a couple of races for him.
“We might even go to Perth for the Winterbottom yet. He’s nominated.
“I don’t make decisions on race days, I’m just happy to be standing here as a winner.
“It’s been a great Caulfield Carnival.”
The 2016 Winterbottom Stakes during the Perth Festival of Racing is also on the cards for Lankan Rupee who will improve heading towards his later season target after the first-up run.
To back Our Boy Malachi next race and access the best early Winterbottom Stakes odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
2016 Caulfield Sprint Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 9 – 15/10/2016
|1||2||OUR BOY MALACHI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||9||57kg||$4.20|
|2||3||FAATINAH||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss (a)||1.5L||8||54kg||$5|
|3||1||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1.7L||1||61kg||$6.50|
|4||10||ORUJO||Shawn Mathrick||Ms Jackie Beriman||2.45L||7||53kg||$61|
|5||4||WILD RAIN||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||2.65L||3||54kg||$3.60F|
|6||7||RUETTIGER (NZ)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Damian Lane||2.75L||4||53kg||$14|
|7||8||VIDDORA||Lloyd Kennewell||Joe Bowditch||2.85L||2||53kg||$7|
|8||9||TAKE PRIDE||Murray Johnson||Darren Gauci||5.6L||5||53kg||$51|
|9||11||SUNDAY ESCAPE||Andrew Murray||Tommy Berry||6.85L||6||53kg||$41|
|–||6||GRANE||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||HELLBENT||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||–||0||–||–|