HEART STOPPER: Taylor swoops to clinch Maclean Cup
"AT THE top of the straight, I thought I had a heart attack."
Those were the words of jockey Jason Taylor after he stepped off Maclean Bowling Club Maclean Cup (1400m) winner Zamex.
The starting favourite out of the Matthew Dunn yard, was expected to get back in the running but when Taylor rounded the final turn he was staring at a field more than eight lengths in front of him.
It was the early pace of apprentice jockey Olivia Pickering on second-placed finisher Landmarks, who got out from barrier nine, crossed the field, and put the pedal to the floor.
"I knew we would get back, I just didn't expect there to be that much pace on," Taylor said.
"I was a little bit concerned, but the thing we had on our side was how hard they went out. When they go quick like that they have to capitulate, and that is what happened.
"When I looked up and saw how far off them I was, I just thought 'Oh well, we're going hard, we may as well put a good finish on here, and just see how we go'."
Taylor soon pulled his mount to the middle of the Grafton track and proceeded to run over the top of the field, flashing in the final 200m to take the last feature of the carnival by almost two lengths.
Landmarks put in a gallant leading effort to finish second, while a strong gallop from locally-trained veteran Power Receiver (Cejay Graham) had the gelding a further half-a-length third.
It was only Taylor's second win of the July Carnival after his effort on $26-outsider Two Ducks Artie on South Grafton Cup Day.
"It has been a bit of a frustrating carnival for me," he said.
"I did run second in the (Grafton) Cup, which I guess is something to be happy with, but I thought that was going to be my best result.
"To win my first Maclean Cup is a great feeling."
While he might be holidaying overseas, the two-length win gave the Murwillumbah trainer an even greater prize after he was named the Clocktower Hotel Trainer of the Carnival.
Dunn trained three winners over the carnival, and a host of finishes in the placings allowed him to edge out Gosford trainer Tony Newing (three wins).