A dropped whip forced Nash Rawiller to call on every ounce of his energy and riding skill to win the Newcastle Gold Cup on iron horse Winning Glory on Thursday.
“I was throwing everything at him. It was real kitchen sink stuff,” Rawiller said.
The David Payne-trained Winning Glory ($16) did most of the hard work to hold off the fast-finishing Lucripetous ($6.50) to win by a short neck with Peal Of Bells ($8) a length away third.
Despite the strength of the win Payne does not believe that Winning Glory is a genuine stayer.
“Realistically I think he is a 2000-metre horse,” Payne said.
Winning Glory got over to the lead from his wide barrier after turning out of the straight despite Payne telling Rawiller it was not necessary to make the pace.
Things worked out perfectly for Rawiller when Jim Cassidy took off on the well-backed Tenby Lady and opened up a huge lead as he attempted another of his famous race-stealing moves.
Rawiller was then able to settle Winning Glory in third position but at the 800m he went to the head of the chasing brigade and was given the job of taking the rest of the field up to the tearaway leader.
Cassidy’s move on Tenby Lady back-fired and she was a spent force on the turn, leaving Winning Glory in front.
He was never headed after that and Payne is in two minds about spelling Winning Glory or continuing with his preparation.
“He has been in work for 11 months and after this race he was going for a spell but we will have to re-assess now,” Payne said.
“It looks like he is happy while he is in the yard.”
Rawiller was not sure about Payne’s assessment of the horse.
“That was a pretty good staying effort today,” Rawiller said.
“He really brought his A game here.”