Imported four year old Mawingo supplied Anthony Freedman with his first Group 1 winner since taking over as head trainer of the Freedman Racing Operation with the Doomben Cup today.
Mawingo had to withstand a protest from third placed Manigharfor interference on the turn out of the straight the first time before being awarded the Group 1 $500,000 WFA Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m).
Stewards took evidence from Peter Moody and Luke Nolen claiming Manighar had to be checked going out of the straight when Nash Rawiller crossed over on Mawingo and the stewards room became quite tense.
Rawiller and Freedman responded saying the interference, if any, didn’t cost Manighar the two lengths that he was beaten by and the Stewards agreed, dissmissing the protest.
Freedman was handed the reins last August when brother Lee decided to stand aside after an illustrious career as the head of the famous Freedman Brothers Organisation and shared in many Group 1 successes before today’s win as the number one trainer.
The lightly raced Mawingo will now be spelled and set for the Spring with Freedman saying the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) could possibly be his main target.
“He’s a weight for age horse, he’s done a good job today and all goes well for the Spring,” Freedman said.
Freedman knew that Rawiller was the right jockey for Mawingo after Sydney’s top rider had been having a sensational run of late with multiple Group 1 wins over the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“We wanted to take advantage of good jockeys that are in hot form,” Fredman said.
“I’m inclined to give Mawingo a break now and concentrate on the Spring, the Caulfield Cup and then we will play it by ear.”
Rawiller crossed over to the fence going out of the straight the first time and did cause Manighar to check, pushing him back further in the field than Nolen wanted to be.
While Nolen had to improve wide on the track on the home turn, Rawiller was searching for an inside run on Mawingo.
The top Sydney jockey was able to squeeze through an opening and was too strong to the line, holding off Lights Of Heavens by a short neck with Manighar fading on his run to finish a further one and a quarter lengths away in third spot.
Mawingo was in the betting at $8 as was Lights Of Heaven with Manighar always in the red and started the favourite at $1.75.
Scenic Shot ($31) , who was going for his third Doomben Cup victory, ran a mighty race to finish a further length and quarter away in fourth spot.