Hugh Bowman’s gem delivers Beyond Thankful in time to take the Newcastle Cup

Premier trainer Chris Waller conquered Newcastle’s biggest day of the year with a winning treble capped by Beyond Thankful taking out the Newcastle Cup on Friday.


The Waller juggernaut appears unstoppable, with Devil Hawk winning the Spring Stakes and She’s Clean the Tibbie Stakes before a classic Hugh Bowman ride won the day for Beyond Thankful to give Waller his first Newcastle Cup.


“Hughie just knows this horse to a tee and he rode him absolutely perfectly,” Waller’s stable representative Matt Cumani said. “We have had a big day because we got three tactically brilliant rides from top jockeys.


“Hughie just got him into a spot and kept him happy and the horse just keeps coming.”


Beyond Thankful picked up favourite Orbec in the shadows of the post to score by a long neck with Rio Perdido three-quarters of length back in third.


Bowman said he doubted Beyond Thankful at trip. He had ridden him aggressively to win the Wyong Cup at his previous start, taking off before the turn, but took a more conservative approach at Newcastle coming with the last run to win.


“Just because of the bigger track and I thought the 2300 [metres] might have been a bit further than his best distance. That’s why I rode him a bit differently,” Bowman said.


“You get on these Chris Waller horses when they’re in form and they hold it and they hold it well. You go into any race – whether you think the conditions suit or not – with confidence and you give them their chance and they invariably deliver.


“It was a nice tempo and I thought it was an even gallop, which certainly suited me. This horse is just in great form – not only this horse but the whole stable.”


The Metropolitan looks the next stop for Beyond Thankful as it could be for Orbec, which was again impressive.


“That would be a step up as far as class wise goes. He certainly deserves his chance if Chris thinks it’s a worthwhile option,”: Bowman said.


“If not, I’m sure there’s plenty of other options for him. He’s a good horse in good form and placed right he’s going to deliver.”


Earlier, Waller picked up another couple of black-type races as Devil Hawk landed a surprise win in the Spring Stakes and stable veteran She’s Clean took inside runs to win the Tibbie Stakes.


Devil Hawk enjoyed the hectic speed in the Spring Stakes, as he emerged as a leading Spring Champion Stakes hope, beating Tatoosh and Gold Ambition in a blanket finish.


“That was super, the further the better,” winning jockey Tye Angland declared. “He liked that speed and really let down today. I think he will be better again when we step up in trip again.”


Stablemate and favourite Wudang Mountain was one of the first beaten but battled on to run fourth. Then James McDonald didn’t go around a horse as She’s Clean charged to victory. – ”Chris Roots, Sydney Morning Herald
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