With Australia on top in the third Test at the Adelaide Oval, Hogmanay’s victory at Rosehill has provided some icing on the cake for skipper Steve Smith.
Smith and fellow NSW cricketer Moises Henriques are part-owners of the Chris Waller-trained gelding.
It has been a tough summer for Smith with Australia capitulating in the first two Tests to sink to an embarrassing home series defeat.
But with his team’s fortunes improving during a dead rubber in Adelaide, Hogmanay gave him further cause for celebration by winning a benchmark handicap over 1500m on Saturday.
Australia’s first innings lead over South Africa was as decisive as jockey James Innes’ front-running ride as he cruised to a 1-3/4 length victory.
“On a race track, everyone’s equal,” Waller said.
“You still get that winning feeling regardless of how many runs you make, what age you are, what nationality you are.
“That’s why people like those guys appreciate it because they still get that winning feeling.”
Money came for Hogmanay with bookmakers turning him from $7 to $5 and he held off $4.60 favourite Unbiased with Embley ($20) a neck away third.
Hogmanay jumped from the widest barrier and Innes had no hesitation in taking the horse to the lead, a decision which he said was a no-brainer.
Waller praised the performance of the 2kg claiming apprentice who has won six of his last 19 rides.
“It was a very mature and decisive ride from James Innes which was certainly a big key from a bad barrier,” he said.
It was Hogmanay’s second win from 11 starts with his other success in a maiden race at Scone.
Hogmanay’s victory wasn’t first time cricket figured in conversation at Rosehill with South African jockey Glyn Schofield enjoying the key dismissal of Usman Khawaja after getting Soviet Courage home in the 2400m benchmark handicap.
“A good five minutes – a winner and a wicket,” he said.
The tough staying performance took Soviet Courage’s career earnings to almost $250,000 with five wins to his name.
That victory was one of four winners for Waller who also scored with promising filly Zumbelina and rank outsider The Rumour File in earlier races.