The nous of jockey Hugh Bowman has helped trainer Chris Waller to a fifth Wyong Gold Cup win when Beyond Thankful claimed the Listed race on Friday.
Bowman rode Beyond Thankful to capitalise on a track that favoured horses near the lead, having the stayer in the front half of the field.
His plan worked to perfection as Beyond Thankful stole a break on The Offer and Havana Cooler, the two horses rated the most likely threats to his mount.
“I knew I had the tactical speed and I was happy to make use of it,” Bowman told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“The way the track is playing here today I knew some of those main dangers would be needing a bit of drag in and they’d be needing to make up a bit of ground.
“I thought if I made it a bit of a test it might help my horse’s chances and the horse didn’t let me down.”
Sent out a $5.50 chance, Beyond Thankful held off Just As Comic ($31) to win by a half length with a nose to Orbec ($4.40) in the minor placing.
Waller won his first Wyong Gold Cup when Hawk Island scored in 2010 with his sequence interrupted by the win of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Julienas in 2012.
As racing mourns the death of Bart Cummings, his family continues to honour his name in the most appropriate way – by training winners.
Cummings’ son Anthony prepared Vergara to take out the Mona Lisa Stakes.
A late pick-up ride for Christian Reith, Vergara ($8) raced outside the leader Two Blue before edging clear over the final 100m.
It was left to Anthony’s son Edward to reveal an ambitious campaign for the mare which has now seven of her 23 starts.
“This is stage one of a long-term plan to get to the Rupert Clarke Stakes in Melbourne,” he said.
Vergara’s win came after Edward’s brother James, who trained in partnership with their grandfather out of Leilani Lodge, had two winners at Canterbury on Wednesday.
And between the two stables they had four of the eight winners at Wyong last Sunday, only hours after Bart died.
Vergara turned out to be the middle leg of a treble for Anthony with Puzzling Wonder and Muraqaba also winning.