Niconero wins Kingston Town Classic
David Hayes’ warhorse Niconero won his second Kingston Town Classic and third Group One race when he scored a dominant victory in the weight-for-age feature at Ascot.
It was the seven-year-old’s 11th win from 50 starts and first prizemoney of $300,000 lifted his career earnings well past $2 million.
Jockey Brad Rawiller won his first Group One race when Niconero was successful in the Kingston Town (1800m) in 2006 and again rode a copybook race on the Danzero gelding on Saturday.
Rawiller has since risen to national prominence as the regular partner of superstar Weekend Hussler.
Niconero jumped well from his wide barrier (14) and Rawiller elected to ease him back in the field as is his usual racing pattern.
He raced three wide, but with cover, as Mission Control set a steady tempo up front.
Rawiller was content to bide his time on Niconero who was still midfield at the halfway mark but improved to be poised to strike on turning for home.
Once Rawiller gave the $5 favourite his head Niconero bounded clear and had too much in the tank for his opposition, cruising to the line 1-3/4 lengths clear of last-start Group One Railway Stakes winner Gilded Venom ($7.50).
Jim Cassidy, who was striving for his 100th Group One win, gave the Tracey Bartley-trained Sniper’s Bullet ($6) every possible chance but the five-year-old had to settle for third, a half-length behind Gilded Venom.
Niconero, whose other Group One success was in the Futurity Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield in March, put the writing on the wall with his fast-finishing fourth to Gilded Venom in the Railway two weeks ago.