Seven-year-old Niwot has demonstrated his superior staying abilities by winning The Lexus Stakesat Flemington today.
The win has earned the lightly raced Galileo gelding a guaranteed start in the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup next Tuesday.
Niwot looked the unlikely winner coming into the home turn but was able to overtake the leaders in the final straight to win the race ahead of Macedonian and Anudjawun.
Winning jockey Dean Yendall was thrilled to secure his first ever ride in the Melbourne Cup.
“This I what it’s all about,” Yendall said.
“We bounced out and had a lovely run in transit.
“I thought I’d make a move and he put them away easy.”
Despite his triumph, Yendall’s thoughts were with all the jockeys who had suffered injuries as a result of race falls throughout the years.
“All my thoughts go out to all the boys that (will be) injured throughout the coming years and (have been injured in) past years,” he said.
Niwot will also be co-trainer Wayne Hawkes’ only Melbourne Cup runner this year.
“His record at Flemington is exceptional,” Hawkes said of Niwot.
“I won’t mind if it pours with rain (on Tuesday).
“This bloke loves the wet.
“This bloke is no Maluckyday.
“He’s just a tradesman racehorse.”
A Melbourne Cup win would be the perfect ending to a fairy-tale story that saw Niwot recover from a seemingly career-ending knee injury.
“He smashed his knee a couple of years ago,” Hawkes said.
“It’s going to be quite a good little story if he does something on Tuesday.”
|1st||5||NIWOT(7)||Dean Yendall||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||55.0||2-37.53|
|2nd||11||MACEDONIAN(4)||Luke Nolen||Peter G Moody||53.5||3.0L|
|3rd||14||ANUDJAWUN(10)||Corey Brown||Shaun Dwyer||53.5||5.3L|
|4th||9||RAFFAELLO(9)||Nikita McLean||Patrick F Ryan||53.5||7.8L|
|5th||10||SHOWCAUSE(5)||Craig Newitt||Frank Ritchie||53.5||9.5L|
|6th||15||REPRISAL(3)||Brenton Avdulla||David Hayes||53.5||9.7L|
|7th||13||SPECHENKA(1)||Danny Nikolic||Ben Ahrens||53.5||10.1L|
|8th||6||TACTIC(8)||Brett Prebble||David Hayes||55.0||11.1L|
|9th||2||BOOMING(2)||Dwayne Dunn||Jeff Lynds||56.5||12.1L|
|10th||8||GALIZANI(13)||Timothy Bell||John P Thompson||53.5||12.9L|
|11th||7||OLDER THAN TIME(12)||Craig Williams||Gai Waterhouse||54.0||13.1L|
|12th||3||GREEN MOON(6)||Nicholas Hall||Robert Hickmott||56.0||21.1L|
|13th||12||MIDNIGHT MARTINI(11)||Michael Rodd||Mark Kavanagh||54.0||51.1L|
|Src||1||TULLAMORE||Nash Rawiller||Gai Waterhouse|
|Src||4||MOYENNE CORNICHE||Mark Zahra||Brian Ellison|
|Src||16||HOME ON A WING||Kerrin McEvoy||Anthony Cummings|