Mossfun recovered from a slow start in the 2014 Golden Slipper to record a narrow victory over Earthquake in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Mossfun was the last horse out of the barriers in the Golden Slipper, but jockey James McDonald did not panic and settled the Mossman filly on the rails; with Earthquake sitting just behind Eloping and Oakleigh Girl in the early stages of the race.
Earthquake kicked clear at the 300 meter mark, while Mossfun saved ground on the inside, and looked as though she was on the way to becoming just the sixth horse to win the Golden Slipper and the Blue Diamond Stakes, but Mossfun was stronger in the final stages of the race and scored a narrow victory.
John Hawkes previously won the Golden Slipper with Guineas (1997) and Forensics (2007), but this was the first victory for Michael and Wayne Hawkes, who formed a training partnership with their father in 2007.
The younger Hawkes were clearly delighted with the victory and were quick to pay credit to the ride of McDonald – who maintained his composure despite his pre-race plan being thrown out the window in the early stages of the race.
“We are lucky that we have a kid, who is a man, who just rode for luck, knew he was on the best horse on the race and knew he got through the ground,” Michael Hawkes said after the race.
“He never got off the rail, he just knew what he had, and she just kept coming.
“It has been a long time coming; we have a great team and all the staff has just been fantastic.”
Mossfun was beaten by Earthquake in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight ago, but the Hawkes Team were always confident that their star juvenile could turn the tables on the Blue Diamond Stakes winner in the Golden Slipper.
Wayne Hawkes, who is based in Melbourne, did not see Mossfun for almost two weeks after her Reisling Stakes defeat and said that he was blown away by her improvement between the two runs.
“I hadn’t seen her for ten days and when I saw her the other morning I said wow,” Hawkes said.
“The old boy said she’s right.”
McDonald showed the composure of a much-more experienced jockey when he settled Mossfun at the tail of the field after she missed the kick and waited patiently before making his move on the classy juvenile.
The Golden Slipper was the young New Zealander’s first win in one of the four ‘majors’ on the Australian racing calendar and he was clearly delighted to have recorded the biggest win of his racing career.
“I actually can’t believe it,” McDonald said.
“It didn’t all go to plan; she just bobbed as the gate opened.
“I have to thank Jimmy Cassidy who told me if you are going good hug the rail; watching beat me in the Coolmore I learnt a lot and he definitely outrode me.
“I had no choice and I was back, just sucking up, sucking up, and I just can’t believe that I won it.
“I am very grateful to have all the support that I do.”
Bring Me The Maid stormed home to finish third from Believe Yourself, while Memorial produced an eye-catching run from the tail of the field to finish fifth.
2014 Golden Slipper Results
|1||10||MOSSFUN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||–||11||54.5kg||$5.50|
|2||9||EARTHQUAKE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.8L||12||54.5kg||$2.40F|
|3||14||BRING ME THE MAID||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||1.8L||5||54.5kg||$11|
|4||16||BELIEVE YOURSELF||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||2.1L||15||54.5kg||$41|
|5||15||MEMORIAL||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||2.4L||16||54.5kg||$26|
|6||11||OAKLEIGH GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||Craig Newitt||3.1L||10||54.5kg||$20|
|7||12||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||6.3L||14||54.5kg||$31|
|8||3||GHIBELLINES||Peter Snowden||Hugh Bowman||6.7L||2||56.5kg||$17|
|9||7||MODOC||Paul Perry||Blake Shinn||7L||3||56.5kg||$201|
|10||1||UNENCUMBERED||Bjorn Baker||Craig Williams||7.3L||13||56.5kg||$15|
|11||2||JABALI||Mick Price||Glen Boss||7.4L||1||56.5kg||$51|
|12||4||VALENTIA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||7.5L||4||56.5kg||$21|
|13||8||RISEN FROM DOUBT||Tony McEvoy||Nash Rawiller||7.8L||6||56.5kg||$41|
|14||13||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||Jason Collett||10.6L||9||54.5kg||$21|
|15||5||CORNROW||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||12.3L||8||56.5kg||$19|
|16||6||LAW||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||12.7L||7||56.5kg||$81|
|–||17||SCRATCH ME LUCKY||Paul Perry||Glyn Schofield||–||0||–||–|