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The Newcastle Gold Cup 2020 results went the way of the punters at Broadmeadow on Friday with the Kris Lees-trained favourite and top-weight Mugatoo powering home for a dominant win in the spring feature.
One of Sydney’s top trainers, Lees had failed to win his hometown cup until this week and was thrilled to finally take out the Group 3 $200,000 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) with in-form six-year-old Mugatoo.
“I am very relieved and very grateful too,” the 15-time Group 1 winning horseman told the media post-win on Friday.
“It’s not a time-honoured event for some, but it’s our home town Cup and it means a lot to a lot of people.
“Australian Bloodstock are all Newcastle boys so it is very rewarding and a great feeling.”
A six-year-old son of Henrythenavigator, Mugatoo posted his third win on the trot and back-to-back Group 3 victories following a lead-up win in the Premier’s Cup (1900m) at Rosehill on August 29.
The horse went up two kilos to the 59kg top-weight at Newcastle, but was still too good for his rivals sweeping home for a one and a half-length victory over last year’s champion Hush Writer ($5) for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
Further adding to the Lees’ stable celebrations was the big run from his German-bred mare, the fellow Australia Bloodstock-raced Attention Run who improved on a Wyong Cup fifth to round out the trifecta in third at $26 odds.
“She was brave and she has got a good race in her in the right conditions,” Lees said.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy enjoyed his third win in the event and his second in three years following earlier success aboard Streetfighter (2009) and Carzoff (2018).
The three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop gave Mugatoo ($2.40F) the perfectly-timed ride, settling the stayer in the middle of a strung-out field.
Corning four-wide into the straight, McEvoy began to wind up the top elect who charged home to run down the leader Hush Writer inside the final 100m and deny the runner-up successive Newcastle Gold Cup victories.
“I was a little bit worried on straightening, he just wanted to lay in a touch I thought, but he is a really good horse and he has got a bright future,” McEvoy said.
Lees is now looking towards the Group 1 Sydney Spring Racing Carnival features with Mugatoo who is likely to target the Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the Randwick mile on October 3.
All-in 2020 Epsom Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Mugatoo listed at $17.
The horse could also be extended out to a mile and a half with Lees keeping open the option of a Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) held on the same day.
“I would suggest he is probably Epsom bound but we will just see,” Lees said.
“If he gets a penalty (in the Epsom) we might have to look elsewhere.”
The bookies are tipping Mugatoo as a better hope in the 2020 The Metropolitan with the horse leading futures betting on the event at $3.
2020 Newcastle Gold Cup Results
|1||1||MUGATOO (IRE)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||7||59kg||$2.40F|
|2||2||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1.54L||11||56kg||$5|
|3||12||ATTENTION RUN (GER)||Kris Lees||Andrew Gibbons||2.13L||14||54kg||$26|
|4||8||PATHS OF GLORY (GB)||Richard & Michael Freedman||Ms Rachel King||2.27L||15||54kg||$9.50|
|5||7||NORWAY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||3.98L||13||54kg||$31|
|6||4||CARZOFF (FR)||Chris Waller||Lee Magorrian||5.33L||3||54.5kg||$19|
|7||9||THE LORD MAYOR (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||8.17L||2||54kg||$8.50|
|8||14||ALIFEROUS||Kris Lees||Regan Bayliss||9.01L||9||54kg||$14|
|9||15||ZACADA (NZ)||Jim & Greg Lee||Brandon Griffiths (a)||9.03L||1||54kg||$151|
|10||3||AZURO (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Robbie Dolan||9.95L||8||54.5kg||$41|
|11||16||THE GETAWAY||Paul Perry||Ms Rachael Murray||9.97L||4||54kg||$201|
|12||11||HERENGAWE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||10.41L||6||54kg||$15|
|13||6||BIG DUKE (IRE)||Kris Lees||Jason Collett||12.14L||10||54kg||$31|
|14||17e||NOTHING TOO HARD||Paul Perry||Ms Mikayla Weir (a)||15.98L||12||54kg||$201|
|15||13||SWEET THOMAS (GER)||Matthew Smith||Glen Boss||22.4L||5||54kg||$101|
|10||GREY LION (IRE)||Matthew Smith||Ms Kathy O’Hara||0|
|5||SIR CHARLES ROAD||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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