Chris Waller’s decision to split up his team of milers has delivered him a two-state feature race double, the champion trainer coming away with the spoils in both the Hawkesbury Gold Cup and Tails Stakes in Doomben.
Waller scratched Skyman from Hawkesbury to run in Brisbane and the horse swept home to snare the Listed event before New Mandate followed suit in the Group 3 Gold Cup (1600m) just over 30 minutes later.
It was New Mandate’s first victory for the stable since arriving from the UK where he was a Group 2 winner as a younger horse before a virus interrupted his three-year-old season.
He had shown promise in three previous Australian runs but it was a vote of confidence from leading jockey James Mcdonald following the horse’s recent trial that had the stable optimistic for a breakthrough win.
“James came and trialled him last Tuesday and said, ‘whatever I’m riding for you in the Cup, it needs to be New Mandate’,” Waller’s stable representative Charlie Duckworth said.
“That was a good enough steer for us that he was going in the right direction.
“He won that with a bit of authority and it’s just nice to get a win on the board for the horse because it has been a while between drinks.
“Hopefully he can step up from here.”
McDonald said New Mandate ($6.50) always felt like the winner and he took confidence from how strong the horse was at the end of the mile.
“He travelled beautifully and he presented like the winner at the top of the straight,” McDonald said.
“He was building through his gears beautifully and what I was most impressed with, he was so strong on the line. He never faltered at all, he just kept on galloping so very impressive winner.”
Waller produced the quinella with the resuming Desert Icon ($31) doing best of the rest, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears of his barn mate while Jojo Was A Man ($6.50) stuck on for third after a tough, three-wide run.
New Mandate’s victory gave Waller his second Hawkesbury Cup following the success of Amovatio in 2016 and also delivered the leading trainer a black-type double on the program after Princess Grace earlier took out the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m).
– RAS NewsWire