Cuban Dancer wins 2011 cup

Tammy Grainger, on behalf of her father Ken Faulds, accepts the 2011 Kempsey Cup from Akubra’s Steve Keir.

ON a cloudy but rain free afternoon Warwick Park Racecourse vibrated to the sound of happy racegoers having a great day out. Excitement reached a crescendo as 12 horses flashed past the post locked in battle over 1450m.

Cuban Dancer ($13) raced into history as winner of the 2011 Kempsey Cup. He defeated top weight and equal favourite Youthful Jack ($4) a head away.

Cuban Dancer is an eight-year-old gelding by Hemmingway (Ire) out of a New Zealand bred mare and is owned by a syndicate of seven, including trainer Ken Fauld’s daughter Tammy Grainger.

Tammy deputised for her father and the other part owner in receiving the Akubra Kempsey Cup from Steve Keir.

She said her father was currently on a cruise in New Zealand waters and would shortly be receiving an email from her with the good News.

The winner had been in her father’s care at Port Macquarie for 18 months and was a day to day racing proposition as he suffered from bad joints.

Rider Terry Treilchel had the eventual well positioned to challenge Youthful Jack as the top weight surged to the lead in the straight.

Cuban Dancer, with 6kg less to carry, was able to surge to the $85,000 mark.

For rider Treilchel the cup win gave him a double as earlier he had won the distance event on Rodeo Playboy.

Noone on course begrudged local trainer Julie Hodder’s success with Batizta ($19) in the main 1000m sprint, especially after her runners had both run third in two earlier races.

Batizta was Hodder’s final starter at Warwick Park where she has been based for 10 years.

Shortly she will move her team to train at Beaudesert. A number of runners crossed the line virtually together in the closest finish of the day.

The photo finish revealed that Matthew Dracos had driven the Zeditave gelding to score by a head from Sequent ($8) who flew home to overhaul Floral Insight ($3) by half a head.

Although only a small field of “babies” lined up for the two-year-old scamper over 1000m the regal bloodlines of all the starters augurs well for future racing in the area.

Curley Mac ($1.6) followed up his home track win at Grafton at his first start with another decisive victory.

Claiming apprentice Mitch Hayward had no trouble drawing his mount clear to record a two length win over first starter Who Wee ($6.5).

The other undefeated runner, Lyreb ($3), finished in third place.

Curley Mac was bred by his trainer Vanessa McLennan who also holds a part share of the Homes on The Grange gelding.

1900m events at Kempsey are always popular with the crowd as they love to see the horses circle the course to pass the winning post twice.

It proved especially popular when the hot favourite powers to an easy victory as was the case with Rodeo Playboy ($2.3) cruising to a five and a quarter length win.

Approaching the straight Treichel, in a lightning move, booted the favourite around the field to establish the winning lead.

Second favourite Homenow ($3.6) doggedly retained second with Even If ($5) completing the trifecta. John Scott is Kundabung bred, owns and trains the Homes on the Grange gelding, who incidentally sired the second placegetter as well as the two-year-old winner.

The Class 3 1450m Handicap saw the favourite Zippy Zariz ($2.5) win by a length for Taree trainer Bindi Cheers who shares ownership of the Zariz gelding with her husband.

Matt Paget had the consistent three-year-old going with enough in hand to hold off a charge from Assume ($3.4) with Camorina ($9) holding on to third prize money.

A Maiden Plate over 1450m seemingly unearthed a promising galloper for the Neil Godbolt stable in the shape of Whatcha Want ($2.7).

The four-year-old Al Maher mare had not started since August yet was supported with confidence in the betting ring.

She was able to bound to a four and a half length win after Adam Nicholls took off approaching the turn.

Angel’s Award ($6) and Stratums Express filled the minor placings respectively.

A Maiden Handicap over 1000m provided a stirring finish when Happy Rebel ($5.5) ran down Dinky Mink ($2.8) near the line to score by a neck.

Peter Graham rode the Show A Heart mare who had nine minor placings before breaking her maiden status with the win.

Wauchope trainer Colt Prosser missed the win being on holidays overseas. Little Fou ($6.6) took the minor prize.

The Taree team of Ross Stitt and Scott Thurlow took out the 1250m Handicap. Magic Country ($11) passed the post a half head in front of Long Journey Home ($4) whose rider fired in a protest.

Following a lengthy hearing the stewards dismissed the objection and the placings stood. Magic Country is a five-year-old gelding by Magic Albert. Be Unique ($2.6) collected third prizemoney.

The extremely successful day shows that racing is back with a vengeance on the Macleay.


Article courtesy the Macleay Argus
http://www.macleayargus.com.au/News/local/sport/horse-racing/cuban-dancer-wins-2011-cup/2358135.aspx?storypage=0