Sir John Hawkwood has outstayed his rivals to break through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Regular hoop Blake Spriggs allowed Sir John Hawkwood to stride forward after jumping from the barriers well and took an ideal position in transit on the heels of early leaders Storm The Stars and Dee I Cee.
Hugging the rails rounding onto the final straight, the Sir Percy gelding immediately responded when asked for an extra effort; producing a slick turn of foot to pull clear of his rivals and find the line a length and a half ahead of Antonio Giuseppe and Allergic.
Spriggs was understandably elated to have claimed his first Group 1 triumph aboard Sir John Hawkwood in The Metropolitan and was pleased to have been retained as first choice jockey on the veteran by new trainer John Thompson.
“It feels amazing, it’s the best day of my life,” Spriggs said after The Metropolitan.
“I linked up with this horse about 18 months ago and he was mixing his form a little bit, and the boss said to me that if I could get him going, I’d stick with him.
“We did the form yesterday and he said ‘I’ll be blunt with you, I think we’re going to win’. I was very confident but I owe it all to Waratah and Paul Fudge.
“They got him 110% today and full credit to John (Thompson). It’s never easy to get a horse first time into the stables and he’s not easy to train. It just goes to show what a master trainer he is.
“He won the jump and got into a nice spot, exactly where I wanted to be. I was happy to go to the fence and when Kerrin came off the bit, I gave him a bit of a squeeze so I could push out when I wanted to, and he really dashed.
“What a horse.”
Thompson has only saddled Sir John Hawkwood twice since he was transferred to his Randwick stables following the recent Brisbane Winter Carnival, but has been thrilled with the class displayed and results posted by the seven-year-old.
“He’s a marvellous old horse and a credit to his previous trainers Peter Moody and David Vandyke,”
“I don’t know him that well. I haven’t had him long but I’ve just been listening to Blake who does know him well. He’s done nothing but thrive in my stable.
“He ran well first-up and has done nothing but improve well. We took him to Kembla to top him off and anyone who saw that gallop knew he was going to run well today.”
Sir John Hawkwood has posted eight wins and seven minors through a career total of twenty-eight competitive starts.
2016 The Metropolitan Results
|1||5||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||John P Thompson||Blake Spriggs||–||6||54kg||$6|
|2||12||ANTONIO GIUSEPPE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||1.3L||5||51kg||$3.60F|
|3||8||ALLERGIC||John O’Shea||Michael Dee (a)||1.4L||2||51.5kg||$8.50|
|4||7||SACRED MASTER (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||1.6L||12||53kg||$12|
|5||9||SENSE OF OCCASION||Kris Lees||Corey Brown||2.3L||13||51kg||$41|
|6||6||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||2.6L||10||53.5kg||$15|
|7||1||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3.4L||8||57kg||$6|
|8||11||DEE I CEE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Kerrin McEvoy||4.3L||7||51kg||$9|
|9||3||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||4.8L||1||54.5kg||$21|
|10||4||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||5.7L||3||54.5kg||$16|
|11||13||QUARTERMASTER||Paul Perry||Ms Kathy O’Hara||9.2L||9||51kg||$151|
|12||10||AMEXED (NZ)||Tony Gollan||Johan Victoire||9.9L||11||51kg||$101|
|13||2||STORM THE STARS (USA)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||14.5L||4||55.5kg||$17|