Last year’s Melbourne Cup might have come a year too soon for Knights Order, but the Tulloch Lodge stayer has again put himself on a path towards Australia’s most famous race with a dashing all-the-way win in the Sydney Cup.
Rated superbly by Rachel King, Knights Order ($8.50) had the big field strung out, upping the ante before the home corner and extending his advantage to score by two lengths over Sheraz ($11) with Daqiansweet Junior ($26) another 2-1/2 lengths away.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott said the stable had been confident Knights Order was building towards a peak performance, topping off his Sydney Cup preparation with a narrow second in the Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) seven days earlier.
“I was confident on a lot of fronts there, we just needed things to go our way in the race,” Bott said.
“When Rachel (King) was able to dictate in the way that she did, it was a really calculated ride by her so she has got to take a lot of the credit for that. ”
Knights Order was purchased out of Europe and proved his two-mile credentials when he won the Brisbane Cup (3200m) last winter.
However, he failed to fire in five spring outings and Bott said in hindsight, the quick turnaround in campaigns may have taken its toll.
“It might have been too quick of a turnaround for him into the spring, he didn’t quite come up,” Bott said.
“But off a good break he was really able to come here off fresh legs this campaign and we’ve been able to see what he can do when he gets a distance to suit.”
Bott confirmed the Melbourne Cup was on their radar after Knights Order’s Randwick heroics.
King was thrilled to land a major for Bott and training partner Gai Waterhouse having been an apprentice at Tulloch Lodge when she was starting out in Sydney.
“She’s been such a huge supporter of mine and being apprentice to her for so long, it’s just fantastic to get one for Gai and Adrian (Bott) and the team,” King said.
The fancied runners never got into the race with favourite Cristal Pegasus finishing ninth, Stockman ($8) seventh and Surefire ($8.50) thirteenth.