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From Melbourne Cup to Hanging Rock Cup: the story of Leica Falcon

January 25, 2011

One of racing’s most remarkable stories continues at the small Victorian racecourse of Hanging Rock on Wednesday.

Leica Falcon, once hailed as the heir apparent to Makybe Diva, makes a comeback from retirement in Wednesday’s Hanging Rock Cup (1600m).

Previously trained by Richard Freyer at Corowa, he was first shifted to Jarrod McLean at Warrnambool.

However, the nine year old is now trained by Steven Lake at Bendigo.

Lake told the Bendigo Advertiser that he is unsure how his new charge will go in the Hanging Rock Cup.

“From that work you could tell this horse was once a very good horse,” Lake told the Bendigo Advertiser‘s Adam Bourke yesterday.

“The problem is he’s been so uncompetitive in his races since his problems started five years ago.”

Lake says the Nothin’ Leica Dane gelding needs to show that he is still interested in racing.

“On his work he’d run a good race, but raceday can be completely different and he just mightn’t want to try anymore,” Lake said.

“If he’s not competitive on Wednesday and finishes a long way off them then that will be it.”

Leica Falcon is an obvious example of the rollercoaster ride that is racing.

With only one win to his name, he was entered in the 2005 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Considered a frivolous entry by bookmakers, he was opened at the odds of $501.

He recorded two huge victories at Corowa and Wagga, before winning over 2400m at Sandown’s AFL Grand Final weekend meeting.

He subsequently started favourite for the Group 2 Herbert Power Handicap (2400m), which he won with ease.

This earned him a spot in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, amazing given that he had started his preparation in a Class 1 at Corowa.

In the Caulfield Cup, he was last entering the straight but unleashed an enormous run to finish fifth to Railings.

Watch his Caulfield Cup run here (red jacket, blue cap – last on the inside around the turn, from 2:06 onwards):

As a result of his Caulfield Cup run, he was a heavily backed second favourite for the Melbourne Cup.

He finished a game fourth to Makybe Diva, as can be seen here:

He was instantly put up as the antepost favourite for the 2006 Melbourne Cup.

However, a day before nominations were due, Leica Falcon tore a tendon and was instantly removed from markets.

In 2007, equine influenza prevented him from crossing the border to take part in the spring carnival, despite being less than a kilometre from Victoria.

Injury problems have hampered him since then, and he’s never been close to recapturing his form of 2005.

In fact, in 13 starts since, he’s finished last in eight of those starts.

He was “retired” after a dismal last at Morphettville in June.

Leica Falcon will carry 54kg on Wednesday after a three kilo claim for Katelyn Mallyon, and will jump from barrier 7.

The Hanging Rock Cup meeting will carry TAB status for the first time, and will be shown on Sky Racing 2.

The feature race will jump at 4:21pm.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Aron permalink
    October 16, 2011 11:31 pm

    What has happend to Leica Falcon now?


  1. One time Melbourne Cup Carnival feature race winner to line up at Mount Gambier on Sunday « Andrew Hawkins Racing

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