Rachel King was the toast of Wyong yesterday, the talented rider making a clean sweep of both feature races on the Cup Day program.
King took out the main prize, the $160,000 Listed Carlton Draught Wyong Gold Cup on the Richard and Michael Freedman trained Paths Of Glory.
In doing so she became the first woman to claim a Wyong Cup in the 122nd running of the prestigious race.
She had earlier taken out the $140,000 Listed Bishop Collins Accountants Mona Lisa Stakes, on Asiago for Godolphin.
It was her ride on Great Britain import Paths Of Glory that caught the eye, after being posted toward the rear, she weaved her way through the field bursting through late to win by a long neck.
The patient ride earned the praise of co-trainer Richard Freedman.
“It was a brilliant ride by Rachel,” he said.
“I said to her ‘you’ll have to give this horse a rest somewhere because he’s first up over the 2100m.’
“She might have taken that a bit literally. He was resting away at the back there where he’s never raced,” he laughed.
“It was exciting, and we will most likely head to the Newcastle Cup now.”
King said she had considered Asiago a good chance in the Mona Lisa but had been surprised to take out the Cup.
“I thought he would be a bit under done coming into the 2100m first up,” she said.
“I had planned to be midfield, but I looked like being caught three wide early and didn’t think he’d have the fitness to sit out there.
“Then I was shuffled back to nearly last and probably gave Richard a heart attack.
“He dropped the bit at the 800m, and I thought he’d just keep whacking away but once he started to improve, he really switched on and started to travel.
“He enjoyed being amongst them and near the end I got a good tow into it and he hit the line strong.
“He’s a dynamic type of horse and I feel like he could gallop all day.”
Paths Of Glory ($13), beat the Lord Mayor ($6) from the Waller stable, with the luckless Hush Writer ($5), trained by Waterhouse/Bott third.
Darren Beadman was also complimentary of King’s ride on the Mona Lisa winner Asiago.
The Godolphin racing manager said King had work to do from a wide barrier but managed to get the Medaglia D’Oro mare into a good position.
“She was able to get into a nice position, with cover three deep and roll into it,” Beadman said.
“There was a little bit of traffic with the horses on the inside, and she had an uninterrupted run and was strong to the line.
” The tempo didn’t really suit but Rachel didn’t panic, had hold of her and let her finish strongly.”
He said they were extremely happy with the four-year-old’s first up win.
“She won the Kembla Grange Classic last preparation and went down to Melbourne, so she had a lot of residual fitness.
“She was first up today and only had one and a half trials really, because one of them was on a synthetic track.
“It’s nice to get some more black type for her. She’s come back in good order and I think she’s in for a nice spring.”
King said it was a good win and believes the mare will improve further on a bigger track.
“I think she is a class above a lot of those horses who went around today.
“She certainly proved too good despite an awkward draw.
“This race kicks off her preparation and there are bigger things in store for her. “It was a bonus for her to win it.”
Damien Lane had another memorable Wyong Cup day, training a double.
It was the second year in a row the popular local has bagged two winners on Cup day.
Both winners, Just Field and Bombasay, were having their first starts for the stable.
Lane is excited about the prospects of the pair, considering they could both go on to winner better races.
“It’s been a huge day. It’s a great result with a couple of new horses into the barn,” he said.
“I’ve got to thank the owners. The two of them are both quality horses and I think they’ve both got a bit of a future.”
Just Field ($31) upset her rivals to bring up her first victory for Lane in the CENTRAL COAST COOLROOMS CLASS 1 over 1100m.
The $650,000 yearling brought up her second career win ridden by Darryl McLellan.
He settled her toward the rear from a wide barrier, circling the field on the turn and running down her rivals in the final stages, to win by a long neck.
Lane said he will head toward the Provincial Championship Series with the mare.
“She’s a really nice filly and we were lucky to get her to train,” Lane said.
“Lustre Lodge brought her as a broodmare off the China Horse Club, but they decided to give her another 12 months racing.
“She trialled really nice leading into this race and I was confident she would race well.
“I can see her progressing to a Provincial Championships horse, so it’s pretty exciting.”
Just Field beat the Mark Newnham trained Shadow Crush ($19), with Godolphin’s $2.60 race favourite Badia, third.
Lane’s second win came in the last, with Bombasay taking out the THE DOYLO SPRINGTIME CONDITIONAL BENCHMARK 68 over 1100m.
Jason Collett gave the Rothesay gelding a great ride, settling one pair back from the leaders in the fastly run race.
He peeled to the outside on the turn and stormed down the outside to run down Partners in the final stages.
Lane is also considering a Provincial Championships campaign for the gelding.
“He’s a nice horse. He went around in a couple of Provinical heats this year and was probably just a bit immature.
“He still does a few things wrong so we will probably give him a short preparation and bring him back for the heats next year.
“He’s a pretty promising horse.”
Bomasay ($6) beat the Scott Singleton trained The Kosciuszko aspirant Partners ($6), with The Drake ($14) from the Jenny Graham stable, third.
It was a race to race double for the powerful Lees stable with the impeccably bred Sammy winning the 1200m AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK MAIDEN and stablemate Regimental Band greeting the judge in the HOOLIHAN PARTNERS DA VINCI – 3&4YO BENCHMARK 64 over 1300m.
Sammy, the son of Lee’s multiple Group 1 winning mare Samantha Miss, took out the AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK MAIDEN over 1200m.
The three-year-old, ridden by Nash Rawiller, was resuming from a spell after being placed twice at Provincial level in his first preparation.
Lees was full of praise for the win.
“He’s a nice progressive colt,” he said.
“He sat wide and still hit the line well, so he’s probably capable of going on to better things.”
Sammy ($6.50), beat Godolphin’s $1.55 race favourite Mashrabiya by a length, with the Portelli trained Princess Glamour ($17), third.
The Lees trained Regimental Band, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy proved too strong for her opposition to kick off her latest preparation.
The I Am Invincible mare stormed home strongly in the straight to score a narrow win.
Lees believes there is plenty of improvement to come for the four-year-old.
“It was a really good win considering.
“She didn’t parade great and still has a bit to go in her coat.
“We will give her an opportunity at Stakes level in the Tibbie at home on Cup day,” he said.
Snippy Fox ($.7.50) from the Pride stable was second, over Godolphin’s $2.70 favourite Chanting.
Kim Waugh got the day off to a great start with Atherton taking out the first.
The Written Tycoon gelding was given a gun, on-pace ride by Brenton Avdulla, who drew away from his opposition to record a two-length victory in the PRIORITY BUSINESS LAWYERS 4YO&UP MAIDEN over 1350m.
The four-year-old was resuming from a spell, having trialled twice leading into the race.
Waugh said she had always had a good opinion of Atherton.
“He’s promised so much this horse. He’s really well bred, and the owners have been so patient,” she said.
“Early on we thought he was a Group horse, we’ve just always liked him.
“Hopefully today gives him some really nice confidence.
“I think he will get further and hopefully he can produce what we always thought he could. “
Atherton beat the $1.75 race favourite Kiss And Tell, from the Ryan/Alexiou stable, with the Damien Lane trained Dunlee, third.
The Waller stable didn’t go home emptyhanded, with Rules Don’t Apply winning the 1600m WINNING COMMERCIAL BENCHMARK 64.
The $5 equal favourite came with a sustained run down the straight, pegging High Court ($6), trained locally by Jeff Englebrecht, on the line.
The victory brought up a race to race double for Brenton Avdulla.
A four-year-old Dissident mare Rules Don’t Apply was having her ninth career start and coming off a six week freshen up.
She was a previous Wyong winner over the same distance in June.
The consistent mare is putting together a good record, with two wins and four placings from her ninth start.
Ladies’ Gem ($5EF) from the Jim and Greg Lee stable was third.