After what appeared to be a career ending injury, talented stayer Niwot is now out to begin a Melbourne Cup campaign.
Trainer Wayne Hawkes was surprised by the recovery of the now six-year-old gelding after he smashed his knee in 2009.
“When he smashed his knee two years ago we were certain that was it and he was finished as a racehorse,” Hawkes said.
“The vet said definitely it was all over for him and he was treated as if he was retired.”
After spelling for a year at Peter Morgan’s Talwood Stud, they decided to try their luck with Niwot on a water-walker.
“He just kept doing that,” Hawkes said.
“Peter did a terrific job with him and in the finish we decided to give him another try.”
Niwot responded well to his treatment and the gelding is now four starts into a successful preparation.
The horse won at Flemington two starts back by four lengths and finished second in the $100,000 Warrnambool Cup last race.
“I told the owners two runs ago he would run a good race and then win his next start,” Hawkes said.
“Then in the Warrnambool Cup, Luke Nolen told me he only handled the track between the 1600m and the 1300m, yet still kept coming.”
Hawkes is now looking towards a start in the $6 million Melbourne Cup this November.
“He’s such a tough horse,” Hawkes said.
“It’s a question mark whether he can run 3200m and carry 58kg, but we will find out.”
Niwot has won six of his 16 career race starts and has earned close to $300,000 in prize money.