Archedemus has produced a typically gritty performance to become just the third horse to win the Hawkesbury Gold Cup twice.
The gelding captured the Group 3 race two years ago when trained by Gwenda Markwell and on Saturday added another for new trainers Hawkes Racing, joining Magic Road and Huge Demand as dual winners of the 1600 metre feature.
Josh Parr positioned Archedemus third in the run and he took control halfway up the straight, digging deep to fight off Royal Celebration by a long neck with Purple Sector another 2-3/4 lengths away.
Having his first race ride on the seven-year-old, Parr said his confidence increased as soon as he spied the horse in the yard.
“When I saw him, I was really confident because he paraded so well,” Parr said.
“He’s a very difficult horse to ride, he is so strong. He’s a lot stronger than me, I can tell you.
“But he stuck his head out and he was up for the battle, God love him.”
John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes have enjoyed terrific success in the Hawkesbury Cup having won four of the past eight renewals courtesy of Leebaz (2014), Kingsguard (2018), Amangiri (2020) and now Archedemus.
John Hawkes said it was a race they liked to target when they found the right horse and they felt it was a perfect fit for Archedemus.
“He has been going well and this was his right race today,” Hawkes said.
“We have had him for a couple of preparations, we won a $1 million race (The Gong) with him and now this Group Three race.”
Hawkes was unsure of immediate plans for Archedemus and said he was likely to get too much weight in the Scone Cup while Brisbane could be an option.
Archedemus was the final leg of a winning treble for Parr, who was also successful aboard the Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained Steely and Luncies for Kris Lees.
The riders in the Cup wore black armbands in memory of former jockey David Pisani, who died earlier this week.