Tough stayer Beyond Thankful gave Chris Waller another Wyong Cup victory with a tough staying effort in the 2015 edition of the race this afternoon.
Beyond Thankful went into the Wyong Cup on the back of a slightly flat fourth in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 29, but he had a clear fitness edge over the majority of his rivals in the Wyong Cup.
Hugh Bowman elected to take advantage of the fitness edge and he pressed forward on Beyond Thankful to sit him just outside the leader Café Society in the early stages of the race, while pre-race favourites The Offer and Havana Cooler were both settled at the tail of the field.
Bowman put the pressure on Café Society at the 800 metre mark to turn the race into a genuine staying test and it proved to be a winning move; with the Whipper gelding holding off the likes of Orbec, The Offer and Ghost Protocol to give Waller his fifth win in the past six editions of the Wyong Cup.
“It was a tough run, but he is a fit horse and he was primed for this,” Bowman said.
“Chris earmarked this a while ago.
“He ran on Saturday and he ran against better horses than these and take nothing away from the Offer, but he is not racing to the same level that he was when he won the Sydney Cup.
“I knew I had the tactical speed and I was happy to make use of it today.
“The last couple of wins I have been adamant that I need to smother him up, but with that run under his belt on Saturday I was happy to take it up to them.
“The way the track was playing here today I knew that some of the main dangers would need a drag in and they would need to make up a lot of ground, so I thought if I made it a bit of a test it might help my chances and the horse didn’t let me down.”
Waller won the Wyong Cup for the first time when Hawk Island took out the 2010 edition of the race and he has also triumphed in the country cup with The Verminator in 2011, Wazn in 2013 and Multilateral in 2014 before Beyond Thankful’s victory this afternoon.
Godolphin-owned Havana Cooler started the Wyong Cup as favourite, but he failed to respond when he was asked for an extra effort by jockey James McDonald and he finished at the tail of the field.