Munhamek reigns in the Winter Championship Final

Posted by RS NewsWire at 7:21am on July 7th

Munhamek did not need to win Saturday’s Winter Championship Final to stamp himself as the best horse of Nick Ryan’s ever-evolving training career, but he ensured any horse who hopes to surpass him will have to work even harder.

The ageless gelding brought up a winning hat-trick when he overcame a wide run to score a dominant win in the $200,000 Listed event at Flemington, which is where Ryan is based.

It was the 13th start of a campaign that began on Derby Day last year and Ryan, a former champion apprentice jockey, said the rising nine-year-old would forever be a special horse to him.

“He’s taken the staff and the owners on a pretty good journey,” Ryan said.

“It’s a small barn, but to have a flagbearer like these horses who can go around every two weeks and win, keeping your name in lights, is good.”

Munhamek, a son of Dark Angel who was bred in Britain but came to Australia via Hong Kong, often leaves it until late to reel in his rivals, but he had them covered before the halfway point of the long Flemington straight despite the wide run.

The $4.80 chance with betting apps scored by 1-3/4 lengths from Lounge Bar Rubi ($13), with Green Fly ($17) three-quarters-of-a-length away third.

Jamie Mott, who partnered Munhamek to Swan Hill Cup success, regained the seat for the Winter Championship Final after missing the previous Flemington win and was surprised how easily he did it under the 60.5kg top weight.

“That was definitely two or three lengths better than the Swan Hill Cup, for sure,” Mott said.

“Obviously he won nicely between today and the Swan Hill Cup, but I think probably visually it would have looked pretty good too.”

The win was Munhamek’s 13th win at start number 62 and lifted his earnings to $2,553,030.

He might have been in work for more than a year, but Ryan is loathe to turn him out with the $300,000 Group 2 P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 17 the likely next target.

“There’s no doubt he’s gone to another level,” Ryan said.

“He’s just tough and the more we’re giving him, the more he’s just raising the bar.”

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