Cup win doubles as win 1100 for the stable
There is one place that he always wants to be come Boxing Day and that is Westport. Who could blame John as yesterday he claimed his 3rd Westport Cup in five years, as Cullect A Guinness was simply too good for a nice field of pacers in the 2015 edition of the race.
Pre-race and many were picking that the 30m handicap would prove too tough for Cullect A Guinness to overcome, particularly with the well regarded Seel The Deal drawn on the frontline. However, one thing that the Wesport Cup has a habit of doing is going to the best horse in the race and that was what Cullect A Guinness was yesterday, simply too good.
Away ok from the 30m handicap, John allowed the Gotta Go Cullect 5yr old to bide his time early before getting onto the back of Star Of Dionysis when that runner made its move inside the last mile. Breezing for a short time, Cullect A Guinness then enjoyed a great trip over the last 1000m as Tom Bagrie and Dana Duke improved to the death seat, giving the backmarker a great trip in the one-one for the last 900m.
Comimg to the 400m and Dana Duke was really putting the pressure on pacemaker Smithy, with Cullect A Guinness and stablemate Living Legend both well poised to strike. At the 200m Cullect A Guinness strode to the lead and quickly put the race beyond doubt as first Living Legend and then Star Of Dionysis both lodged strong claims. At the line he was a convincing winner in 4.09.4 for the 3200m trip, having run home in 800m 61.3 and 400m 29.5. Star Of Dionysis repeated its placing from the Rangiora Summer Cup in running second, while Living Legend was a very game third. Living Legend had missed away early and then worked to the lead before handing up to Smithy. He enjoyed a great trail throughout and momentarily looked a big chance on the turn. He battled strongly for third and looks a big chance off the front on the second day, over the shorter 2600m trip.
All the plaudits must go to Cullect A Guinness though. He has shown a real penchant for the grass tracks, winning his last three in a row, at Oamaru, Rangiora and now Westport. Yesterday's win was his 7th from 14 starts and takes his stake-earnings to over $50,000. He will now start a dominating favourite in Wednesday's Reefton Cup and 40m and all, you would have to say he is the one that they will all have to beat.
The win was a significant one also for the Robert Dunn stable. In the same race as Superintendent gave Robert his 1000th win as a trainer last year, this year's win brought up career win 1100. This season Robert has trained 33 winners from 270 starters and sits a clear second on the premiership table, 16 wins behind the Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen combo.
Posted: Sun 27 Dec 2015