Windsor Park owned and bred Kingsguard (Rip Van Winkle) gave Hawkes Racing a stakes double at Hawkesbury on Saturday when he edged passed Ecuador to land his first stakes success in the $200,000 Group III Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
Ridden by Brenton Avdulla, who was also on winning stablemate Glenall in the Listed Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m), Kingsguard defeated Ecuador (High Chaparral) by three-quarters of a length with McCreery (Big Bad Bob) a long-head back in third.
"We came here with a team of nice chances today," Michael Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne, said.
"It's a good day the Hawkesbury stand-alone meeting and we're thrilled the horses have come here and performed well today.
"He's been knocking on the door and it was good to see everything fall into place today.
"I'm rapt for his owners Windsor Park. They've been very patient with this horse. I think we've had the two best Rip Van Winkle’s in Australia, Euro Angel and Kingsguard.
"I've also got to give credit to Brenton. He's been a bit up and down but he's ridden both our winners perfectly today.
"He jumped and travelled, followed Ecuador, stalking him and he was in a lovely rhythm and drew away to score a good win."
"We will probably go to the Scone Cup or that sort of race but we are just happy to get away with today."
After failing to meet his reserve at both the 2014 NZB Premier Yearling Sale and NZB Ready To Run Sale, Kingsguard carries the colours of his breeder, Windsor Park Stud.
His overall record stands at 5 wins, 5 seconds and 6 thirds from 27 starts with earnings of $390,033
He is the best racehorse to date out of the Listed stakes-winner Her Royal Highness (Volksraad) a sister to the Listed winner Captain's Command who is the dam of the VRC Maribyrnong Trial winner Sweet Cheeks (General Nediym).
Kingsguard becomes the 22nd stakes-winner for the Group 1 York International Stakes winner Rip Van Winkle (Galileo), who enjoyed another excellent weekend siring a treble of winners that included the very smart Windsor Park bred 3YO filly Lubaya, successful over 1600m at Hastings for trainer Roydon Bergerson.