Veteran stayers Precedence (Zabeel – Kowtow, by Shadeed) and Fiumicino (Zabeel – Latte, by Maroof) both showed they were capable of when they combined to give their marvellous stallion Zabeel (Sir Tristram – Lady Giselle, by Nureyev) a Saturday stakes double.
The nine-year-old Fiumicino posted the seventh win of career that has yielded two Group 1 successes when he won the Listed McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick while the rising eight-year-old Precedence won his first race away from Moonee Valley for more than three years when he finished hard to claim the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben.
Fiumicino settled handy to the speed in his event, going around only one horse rounding the home turn, before drawing away to beat the promising import Motivado (Motivator – Tamise, by Time For A Change) comfortably.
Hawkes Racing partner Michael Hawkes said the stable intended to retire Fiumicino but may have to reconsider his short-term future after his McKell Cup win.
“He’s an old marvel that may have just bought himself more time,” he said. “His work on Tuesday was exceptional and he’s now won a race in his last two campaigns.”
“We’ll have to consider everything. The horse owes us nothing and has been up for a while now.”
The Bart Cummings-trained Precedence came from well back in the field to win the Premier’s Cup, beating the David Vandyke-trained Less Is More (Beat Hollow – Esprit Libre, by Daylami) and the New Zealand visitor Zennista (Zenno Rob Roy – Zarnitsa, by Maroof), booking a start in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
“He’s been a good horse for us for a long time,” Cummings’s stable foreman Reg Fleming said
“I thought today (with) 57.5kg, he’s been carrying 60, 60.5kg at home (Melbourne), 57.5kg is a pretty good weight for this horse racing in this class.”
Both Precedence and Fiumicino are graduates of New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales. Fiumicino was a $NZ425,000 purchase in 2005 while Precedence cost DGR Thoroughbreds $NZ180,000 two years later.