Monkey King makes clean sweep of Cup Week features
There is no such thing as a good thing in racing.
Those who were prepared to brave the bitterly cold weather conditions today expected to witness New Zealand pin-up pacer Auckland Reactor sweep his rivals in the same manner he did just three days earlier.
On Tuesday, Auckland Reactor punished his rivals in national record time of 1:53.7, the same day Monkey King was hailed a New Zealand Cup champion.
Today, the betting markets suggested it was a one horse race today over the 2000m distance and no one was prepared to tip against the star pacer in the small six horse contest.
Despite the freezing conditions come race time, the on-track action was hot with Auckland Reactor stepping out quickly to take up the leading role.
With Auckland Reactor gaining an easy lead, the pressure was immediately applied with Awesome Armbro and driver Philip Butcher applying the blow torch.
The pressure was relentless, Awesome Armbro never allowed Auckland Reactor to ease the speed with Nearea Franco sitting in the trail, Changeover was perfectly poised in the sweet seat whilst Monkey King followed his move and Mr Feelgood was three back on the markers.
Approaching the home turn, the constant pressure caught up with Auckland Reactor as Changeover raced to the lead with Monkey King looming as a big danger.
Just like Cup day, Monkey King finished resolutley for driver Ricky May holding the late closing Nearea Franco with Changeover holding third.
Race favourite, Auckland Reactor tired to fifth placing.
Monkey King scored in a time of 1:54.5 with the final half covered in 56.6 seconds.
The Brendan Hill trained star became the first horse since Just An Excuse in 2004 to win the Cup and the Show Day FFA.
"I'm absolutely stoked to win today, I wasn't sure what to expect with this race today" Hill stated.
"This horse is just a dude, he's a happy horse and he is just airborne presently" Hill added.
Since being officially under the leadership of Hill, Monkey King has won 8 of his 11 starts whilst his Addington record is outstanding with 15 victories from 22 appearances.
Connections of Monkey King have now turned their attention to the Gr.1 $500,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle on Sunday November 29 as their next target.
"It's full steam ahead for Sydney now, there is a flight on the Thursday before the race and that fits our schedule nicely at this stage" Hill said.
"Robert (Famularo - owner) will be keen to head over there, the big track will suit and it gives us a chance to have a good look before the Inter Dominions there next year" Hill added.
Monkey King is likely to miss the Gr.1 $400,000 SEW Eurodrive Victoria Cup on December 11 at Tabcorp Park Melton and return to Auckland for the Summer Carnival.
A telephone conference tomorrow (14/11/09) will decide the immediate plans of Auckland Reactor according to syndicate manager John Curtin.