By TONY WHITE
CULTURE took precedence over race success for Clarence River Jockey Club chairman Bob Pavitt yesterday.
Pavitt has been in Melbourne taking in the fabulous spring racing carnival highlighted by Makybe Diva's historic third win in the Melbourne Cup.
He and wife Cheryl are major part-owners of the Eric Sandford-trained Sam's Dream, who scored a thrilling last stride win in yesterday's feature event ? the $9000 Jacaranda Cup (1200m) ? at the Grafton TAB meeting.
When contacted by The Daily Examiner Pavitt had just walked into the famous Duke Of Wellington Hotel in Flinders Street, Melbourne.
"Cheryl and I have just finished watching the Lion King. I've just scrolled through the TAB results," Pavitt said.
"What a terrific result.
"It's great to see him (Sam's Dream) back in the winners list."
Starting the $3.80 equal top pick, Sam's Dream, ridden adroitly by Peter Graham, got up on the inside of topweight Good Timing to score by the narrowest of margins.
Hipwell was close up in third.
Pavitt, well known to love a bet, admitted before seeing the Lion King production, he managed to place a wager on his horse.
"Yes, I managed to have a little investment. You could say it's a Lion's result," he said.
"We're just about to have a beer and celebrate."
Pavitt said he will long remember Tuesday's Melbourne Cup.
"It' was just an incredible day, amazing," he said.
"The atmosphere was something else.
"After the mare won people were crying and they just kept cheering whether they backed her or not.
"They even ran out of Diva hats. You couldn't get one anywhere.
"It was just an incredible day."
Sandford said Sam's Dream would be spelled during the hotter months.
"He's been up for nine months and I'm thinking about spelling him," Sandford said.
"I'll probably set him for the Wingham Cup at Taree then he can have a rest."
Sandford elected to remove the blinkers from Sam's Dream yesterday.
"You can't keep them (blinkers) on too long, horses get cunning," he said.
"I used to take them on and off with Northern Warrior and that worked.
"Sam's Dream has been very honest. I hope the owners had something on him."
Sam's Dream has now won seven races from 45 starts and earned connections over $90,000.
Local trainer Daniel Wheeler had a memorable day leading in a winning double with Amaizing Lady (race four) and Mermaids (race six).
Amaizing Lady finally broke her maiden status and did it in emphatic fashion scoring by 3-3/4 lengths from Ceanflash and In Phnon Penh.
The four-year-old mare is owned by Colin Baker the father of 1997 Grafton Cup winning jockey Garry Baker. Garry Baker is married to Wheeler's cousin, Amy.
"I got her from the Gold Coast and she has just had no luck always drawing wide," Wheeler said.
"They were going to sack her but in six starts for me she's had a win, four 2nds and one third.
"She really needed a kill (win), she's been pole-axed a few times but this will do her confidence the world of good."