Dubawi Gold, ridden by apprentice jockey Tom Sadler, won yesterday's Moama RSL Echuca Cup.By Geordie Cowan
Partially-Echuca owned Dubawi Gold claimed victory in yesterday’s $70,000 Moama RSL Echuca Cup over 1400m at Echuca racecourse.
Ridden by apprentice jockey Tom Sadler, the five-year-old bay gelding, which has many district owners among three syndicates, started well in front of almost 2000 people.
He then had to fight off Population, who drew to within a neck and a late charge from pre-race favourite Hotham Heights to win by a length.
South Australian trainer Stuart Gower, said the win made the long trip to Echuca worthwhile.
‘‘Tommy rode him the other day (in Morphettville) and ran third,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a super run because they ran 1:08.7, so a slick time.
‘‘We think just him getting older, he’s looking for the 1400m and we were even contemplating giving him a run over a mile.
‘‘Because most of the owners are from Echuca, we thought we’d better come and have a crack at the club and it’s worked out well, so we’ve kept them very happy.’’
Many of the owners were at the course yesterday to celebrate Dubawi Gold’s first win since January last year at Ballarat, having recorded six runner-up finishes and three third-placings since.
One of the owners, Ballarat’s Val Perovic, said it was a rewarding win.
‘‘It is a very long story with this horse and we have had highs and lows,’’ he said.
‘‘We took her to Darwin where she had three starts for three seconds, but we kept faith with the horse.
‘‘With most of the owners from Echuca, it makes this win extra special.
‘‘We are so fortunate to come away with the Echuca cup.’’
Sadler, whose ride on Dubawi Gold was the only one of the Echuca Cup carnival, said it was fantastic to ride a cup winner as an apprentice.
‘‘It was a big thrill to ride here,’’ he said.
‘‘With such a big crowd, there was a great atmosphere coming over the finish line.
‘‘I really appreciate the owners for sticking with me.’’
Echuca Racing Club chief executive officer Alex Doble said a great day was topped off by the cup winner having Echuca connections.
‘‘There was a really good feel on the course with plenty of people out there enjoying the atmosphere,’’ he said.
‘‘It was great to see local winners win their hometown cup.’’
The overall crowd of about 3500 was a ‘pass mark’, Doble said.
‘‘But we were really pleased with the quality of event that we provided,’’ he said.
‘‘The people that were here had a really good time and we gave people a convenient way to get home safely.
‘‘On the other side of the fence there was some good racing action.’’
Having Shadoways trainer Gwenda Johnstone and owner Rob McKenzie present to award the $40,000 Shadoways Sprint cup was also good, Doble said.
The sprint over 1000m was won by Jason Warren’s Jayconi in a small field of just five.
The chief executive also praised the efforts of the track team, led by Anthony Kelly.
‘‘Keeping in mind the weather we’ve had not only this week but for the past six months, the track was in fantastic order,’’ Doble said.
‘‘We had 15 races over two hot days and 11 of those races were rated dead four and that’s just a credit to Anthony and his team.’’
District trainers were unable to snatch a win at Echuca yesterday, despite three horses finishing runner-up.
Echuca trainer Johnstone snagged two of those second-place finishes, with Shadow Tales finishing a neck behind Blatherskite in race three.
Justgus also ran second in the opening race yesterday, but that 1100m event was dominated by the David Hayes-trained Beyond Infinity as it won by nine lengths.
Prussia Island, trained by Michael Cornish and Donna Gaskin, also finished second in the 2100m fifth race behind Mr Jazz.
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