Imported stayer Beyond Thankful finished over the top of Orbec to score a tough staying win in the 2015 Newcastle Cup this afternoon.
Beyond Thankful took out the Listed Wyong Cup (2080m) on September 4 after jockey Hugh Bowman elected to turn the race into a genuine staying test, but the leading hoop opted to ride the son of Whipper more conservatively in the early stages of the Newcastle Cup.
John Thompson-trained Orbec hit the front at the 250 metre mark and looked as though he had the race won, but Bowman timed his run perfectly on Beyond Thankful and he claimed his rival at the 50 metre mark to complete the Wyong Cup/Newcastle Cup double.
Beyond Thankful’s Newcastle Cup victory delivered trainer Chris Waller his third stakes win at Newcastle this afternoon after he took out the Spring Stakes with Devil Hawk and the Tibbie Stakes with She’s Clean and stable representative Matt Cumani was thrilled with the tough effort of the in-form stayer as well as the stellar ride of Hugh Bowman.
“He is a great horse and he just keeps pulling it out,” Cumani said.
“He has been on the go for a long time and Hughie knows him better than anyone and rode him beautifully today.
“It was a tricky run today from an awkward draw, but Hughie kept him on the outside and it was perfect in the end.
“The question is whether he can go up again in trip and up in grade, but we will see.”
Bowman admitted after the race that he was not sure if Beyond Thankful would be able to run out a strong 2300 metres in the Newcastle Cup, but he was quick to pay credit to the training performance of Chris Waller, who has kept the stayer in good form throughout what has been a lengthy preparation.
The Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) is the next logical option for Beyond Thankful and Bowman believes that the Newcastle Cup winner would need to go to another level, but is worthy of a chance in the Group 1 event.
“I personally didn’t think he was quite as well placed here at Newcastle just because of the bigger track and I felt that the 2300 would be a bit further than his best distance and that is why I rode him a bit differently,” Bowman said.
“You get on these Chris Waller horses when they are in form and they hold it and they hold it well.
“That would be a fair step-up as far as class wise goes, but he certainly deserves his chance if Chris thinks it is a worthwhile option.
“If not I’m sure there are plenty of other options for him.
“He is a good horse in good form and placed right he is coming to deliver.”
Orbec produced another strong performance without winning and he is another horse that will head to The Metropolitan, while extreme outsider Rio Perdido produced the best performance of his career to date to finish third.