Lightning does strike twice – and in the same place!
Hawkesbury husband and wife and training partners Philippe and Tara Vigouroux proved that on Sunday by winning their second Cowra Cup in the last three years. Leading country jockey Greg Ryan was their associate on both occasions.
Team Vigouroux’s success with Uncle Sugar ($5) in the 1700m Cup followed on from their 2014 success with now retired mare At Twilight ($17), putting the cream on a huge day for both themselves and Hawkesbury trainers.
Hawkesbury cleaned up in four of the eight races, including a Team Vigouroux double.
Ryan gave seven-year-old Uncle Sugar a perfect run, settling him in fourth place going out of the straight. He began his move before the home turn and the gelding claimed $3.90 favorite Our Sarastro on straightening and forged clear over the closing stages to score conclusively.
Overdane ($13) nabbed Our Sarastro on the post to clinch second placing.
The Uncle Sugar syndicate includes Philippe Vigouroux and his father-in-law, Hawkesbury Race Club chairman Ken Quigley.
Uncle Sugar’s Cowra success was his sixth from 41 starts. He began his career in New Zealand and won his first two races there (at Avondale and Ruakaka) before coming to Australia.
Prior to the Cowra Cup, his Australian wins were at Newcastle, Canberra and his home track.
Team Vigouroux and Ryan had also joined forces earlier to score with $2.10 favorite Azcannyaz in the Maiden Handicap (1200m).
The victories of both Azcannyaz and another Hawkesbury representative Glanum showed that there is always hope in racing.
Azcannyaz was having his 14th start and broke through after no less than seven seconds. He beat $21 chance Enduring and Annie Time ($10). The Canny Lad four-year-old had been runner-up at both starts at Taree last month (December 6 and 18).
Glanum (prepared by John Holloman) was having his 17th start (and had finished third on four occasions) when he landed the Maiden Plate (1375m). With Robbie Brewer aboard, the five-year-old started at $7 and beat Zardabba ($4.80) and Dhamba ($17).
Scott Singleton trained his 15th winner of the current season when Solo Gypsy got punters off to a great start in the opener, the 3YO Country Plate (1100m). Ridden by Jess Taylor, Solo Gypsy ($2.20 favorite) beat Atum ($2.40) and Turcotte ($7). Singleton had worked the three-year-old son of Irish stallion Annenkov in blinkers and put them on him in the race, achieving the desired result. It was Solo Gypsy’s second win from only five starts.
Taylor also rode the gelding when successful in a 3YO Maiden Plate (1100m) at the Mudgee Cup meeting on December 2.