Nautile steers clear to win Maclean Cup
IN a fitting end to the July Racing Carnival Grafton trainer Wayne Lawson notched his first win of the program with locally owned gelding Nautile taking out the Maclean Cup (1406m) ahead of short-priced rivals Grand Feeling and Juste Si.
It was the four-year-old gelding's second start in the carnival after a disappointing fourth in the Benchmark 65 Handicap on Ramornie Day.
Lawson said Nautile had responded well after failing to impress on Wednesday.
"We thought he could get the win on Wednesday but unfortunately things didn't go our way," he said.
"He never really got into his full gallop on Wednesday so we decided to back him up in the Maclean Cup and could not be happier.
"It was a really good run."
Lawson was full of praise for young jockey Samantha Polo who held a perfect line along the fence after jumping from barrier two.
"It was a great run and a great ride," he said.
"I am just stoked with this little girl because she has great potential and is a fantastic rider."
One of Nautile's many owners, Arthur Lysaught said he thought the horse could have gone on a holiday after Wednesday's running but was pleased Lawson had persisted.
"This is an absolute thrill," Lysaught said. "I thought it should have won on Ramornie Day but today has absolutely made up for it.
"It is fantastic to have a local horse win the Maclean Cup, the owners are a great bunch of people.
"Henry (Lawson) is a fantastic bloke, and his daughter young Samira strapped her first winner which made it even better.
"I thought he was probably going to go for a holiday after Wednesday but he had a reasonably easy run so it was back around again today, lovely."