Wayne Hawkes’ Niwot is primed to provide his connections with a win in the Warrnambool Cup this Thursday after coming back from a severe knee injury.
Niwot suffered what was feared to be a career-ending knee injury after winning the Listed Winter Cup at Rosehill Garden Racecourse in June, 2009.
The six-year-old spent a year and a half in the paddock recovering before starting his comeback on February 19 this year.
“It’s amazing what 18 months in the paddock does,” Hawkes said.
“He smashed a knee and the vet said it was a mess and he’d probably never race again.”
The trainer told of how they chose to let nature work its magic, as opposed to trying physical therapy.
“We threw him out in the paddock and didn’t worry about him for well over 12 months and he came back and his knee has never had a problem since and never worried him,” he said.
“It’s amazing what nature does. He’s a pretty fair horse though, he’s won half a dozen races from 15 starts and not many horses can do that.”
Niwot won his last start in the 2,000 metre Racehorse Outplacement Program Handicap at Flemington on April 16.
“It was a really strong effort,” Hawkes said.
“He’s been going super. His knee hasn’t bothered him one bit and he looks outstanding.
“There’s something left in the tank and he’s going somewhere this time around.”
Jockey Luke Nolen will take the ride on Niwot when he attempts to win the Warrnambool Cup on Thursday.
While Niwot has drawn wide in the barrier draw, his wet-track form will be greatly to his advantage going into the $150,000 race.