Fiumicino takes earnings past $3 million
Mathew Toogood
14:47 AEST Sun Dec 2 2012

Grand campaigner Fiumicino has staved off retirement more than once and wound back the clock with an all-the-way ATC Cup victory in hot conditions at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

The nine-year-old's three-quarter length success in the Listed 2200m feature snapped a long absence from the winner's circle for the horse that has competed at the top level for wins in the AJC Australian Derby as a three-year-old and the Group One BMW at five.

The $60,000 first prizemoney took the gelding past $3 million in stakes earnings, capping his first victory since his BMW success in April, 2009.

Michael Hawkes, who co-trains the stayer with his father John and brother Wayne, said it was a brilliant result for a horse that had been a stalwart for the training partnership.

"He breaks the three-million (dollars) barrier and full credit to the horse. He's been a grand horse for us," Hawkes said.

"He's won a Derby and a BMW and he's a nine-year-old but he's still got that killer instinct and a bit of the fighting tiger.

"As long as he's still got it we'll keep racing him."

The Nick Moraitis-owned Fiumicino, who was having his 39th start, was aided by a smart Nash Rawiller front-running ride.

Rawiller picked up the tempo from before the home turn and Fiumicino ($6.50) outstayed his younger rivals to defeat King Utah ($16) by three-quarters of a length with a long neck to favourite Moriarty ($2.70) in third.

Hawkes was confident Fiumicino would turn in a winning performance and believes he's still got something to offer in the upcoming Christmas and Summer Cups over 2400m in Sydney later this month.

"I know he hasn't won for a few years but that will give him a lot of confidence," Hawkes said.

"He was the first Group One winner for us as a team, as a training partnership, and he's still there.

"He's won his race and hopefully we can win one of the summer cups with him.

"I think Dad and Nick Moraitis will be smiling."

The main sprint race on the card, the Sharp Flying (1200m), was taken out by another veteran in eight-year-old Irish Jig who won in a blanket finish from Uate and the Hawkes-trained Stratford.

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