In-form gelding Knights Order has turned in a superb staying performance to win the Brisbane Cup.
Tim Clark has labelled the decision to take blinkers off Knights Order as a “masterstroke” after the up-and-coming stayer gave his Brisbane Cup rivals a galloping lesson.
On a seven-day back-up after claiming the Winter Cup (2400m) in Sydney last weekend, Knights Order was tackling 3200 metres for the first time at Eagle Farm on Saturday and handled the distance rise with aplomb.
Renowned for his prowess in rating frontrunners, Clark dictated throughout aboard Knights Order and said co-trainer Gai Waterhouse gave him the confidence to ride his own race.
“Obviously, he was a query at the two miles but Gai said to just ride him like normal and if he doesn’t run it out, he doesn’t run it out, but don’t try and change too much with him,” Clark said.
“I just allowed him to get him into that nice rhythm and he bowled along.
“It was probably a bit of a masterstroke by Gai and Adrian (Bott) to take the blinkers off him. It just allowed him to relax that little bit better and he ran that out really strongly.”
Knights Order ($3.70 equal fav) scored by 4-3/4 lengths over Carif ($3.70 equal fav) with Sweet Thomas ($9) closing for third.
Bott had been unsure if the gelding would handle the two-mile distance but now Knights Order had ticked that box he said the stable could be optimistic about the spring.
“He has certainly gone to a new level this campaign,” Bott said.
“We will give him a short freshen up and really hone-in now and see what we can come up with for the spring because I really feel he’s a worthy contender and (he has) made that leap.”
The Brisbane Cup has undergone a number of changes in recent years and Saturday’s renewal was the first time it had been staged over 3200m since 2006 when Art Success scored.