Victorian raider times it Just right in Cup

Nash Rawiller has collected his first Hawkesbury Gold Cup aboard the baldy-faced Just Folk.

JUST FOLK winning the RICHMOND CLUB HAWKESBURY GOLD CUP at Hawkesbury in Australia.
JUST FOLK winning the RICHMOND CLUB HAWKESBURY GOLD CUP at Hawkesbury in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

Consistent gelding Just Folk has delivered Gavin Bedggood one of his biggest career wins in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup, and now the trainer is looking to raise the bar even higher.

Having claimed the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes at just his fourth start for Bedgood in the summer, Just Folk ($7) equalled that feat with Saturday's narrow but determined Gold Cup (1600m) victory over the fast-finishing $3.50 favourite Detonator Jack.

While the track was officially rated as good, it was downgraded to soft shortly after Just Folk's success and Bedggood said the timing of the rain at Hawkesbury was key.

So too was the ride from Nash Rawiller, who settled Just Folk in a stalking position and helped the seven-year-old stay balanced in the straight despite his greenness over the concluding stages.

"When the rain came in the last forty-five minutes, that has probably been the game changer for him," Bedgood said.

"I walked the track when I got here right around to the half-mile, and it was probably a (soft) six on the inside fence and you had to get to lane three and wider.

"When he got the saloon passage up the fence, I was just hoping that the track had evened up as the day had gone on.

"Nash has been the difference between winning and getting beaten in the end, so well done to him."

Provided Just Folk comes through his Cup run in good order, next weekend's Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast is likely to be his next target.

"If he pulls up well, he will travel to Queensland during the week and he may back up in the Hollindale on Saturday," Bedggood said.

Just Folk was having his second start at Hawkesbury after finishing fourth in the corresponding race 12 months ago when trained by Josh Julius, but Rawiller said the horse still lost his compass in the straight.

Fortunately, the experienced Rawiller was able to guide him through it and claim his first Hawkesbury Gold Cup win, the Listed XXXX Gold Rush (1100m) now the only one of the four stakes races on the stand-alone program that the top jockey hasn't won.

"He has been around for a bit and done a bit of travelling, but he was a bit like the rest of us, you get to the hundred (metres) there and think it's time to go into the grandstand, but there is still a hundred to go," Rawiller said.

"He was pretty lost and that last fifty (metres), I was trying to straighten him and my reins were slipping in the wet. Thank God he kept his head down."

Rawiller finished the day with a double courtesy of the James Cummings-trained Contemporary in the final event, while both James Mcdonald and apprentice Zac Lloyd booted home trebles.

Lloyd's wins were bookended by two-year-old Media World and dead-heater Rise Of The Masses with a stakes victory aboard Parisal in between, while McDonald took out the Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) on Schwarz and support races aboard Gentileschi and For Victory.