Aimalac Burra makes it a last stride Cup-set
IT WAS desperately close, in an all-Grafton finish, but fortunately for Paddy Cunningham and stable apprentice Jodi Worley the judge's verdict went the way of Aimalac Burra in the Brushgrove Hotel Patrons Brushgrove Cup (1206m) at Grafton.
In what was an upset result, the five-year-old, starting at $10, edged out race favourite Single Chance ($2.70), trained locally by Andrew Parramore.
"We were in trouble at the 100 metres," Cunningham admitted. "But the last few strides Aimalac Burra got on top of the other horse. It was a bit worrying but in the end he got there (thank God). He had to dig pretty deep for the win."
Worley admitted she was worried about the result.
"I had a bit of doubt in my mind," she said. "He was beaten at one stage but when he saw the other horse he kept fighting back and kicked."
The official margin was a short head.
At the last Grafton meeting (May 11) Cunningham scored another upset win with Miss Caitlyn in the Autumn Dash.
"I don't mind this (winning) at all," Cunningham added. "This horse had no luck last preparation. We tipped him out and he's come back well. His first up run at Gunnedah was better than it looked. He got run off his feet and lost a shoe in running."
Meanwhile, mark down the name Dantga. Boy can this big boy scoot.
Trained by Daniel Want, the son of deceased trainer Graeme Want, the Mike Dougherty-bred and owned gelding zipped home by nearly 10 lengths, winning the Warren Bultitude Real Estate Agent/North Side Fruit & Vegies Maiden over the 950m scamper.
It took plenty of time to get the son of Danasinga to the races - four years in fact - but he couldn't have been more impressive ploughing through the heavy racing surface to lead his rivals a merry dance on debut.
"He had a testicle in his gut and other problems early," Want said. "He's a very nice horse though. It took a while to get him to the races."
Asked if Dantga was a July Carnival horse, Want hedged his bets.
"He's basically a day to day proposition. We'll see what happens," he added.
Dantga started at $5.50.
Taree trainer Bindi Cheers suggested Rapidus (Raymond Spokes), winner of the Campbells Insurance Agency Benchmark 65 Hcp (2365m), was a likely carnival visitor for the Grafton Cup Prelude on July 2.
Winner of the Prelude is exempt from ballot for the Grafton Cup on July 11.