Newcastle gelding Don Pellegrino ($7) just spoilt a local party with a head win in the $30,000 134th Bakewell Haulage Krambach Cup (1614m) at Bushland Drive Racecourse, Taree, before an excellent crowd on Friday.
The six-year-old gelding trained by Paul Perry and ridden by Paul King snatched victory right on the line from $4.60 favourite Chalcedony and Mosgiel Ruby ($41), both trained on the track by Matthew Robinson.
With the race extended from 1600m with the rail being out, Robinson could be excused from thinking he was unlucky as Don Pellegrino only won in the last bound.
His six-year-old gelding was the medium of good betting support as it tried to make up for a fourth in last year’s cup behind local mare Cash Spinner.
Robinson’s six-year-old mare ensured there was pace on in being in the leading division and nearly caused a boilover.
But Don Pellegrino, more known for victories over longer journeys,was rearwards early, made its run six-wide on the turn and grinded solidly to the line.
“It was a great training effort by the master (Perry),” said Michael Rowland, his foreman.
“The horse’s racing pattern is getting back and he needs luck.
“Even though he was coming back in distance, his class showed.”
King said he had to work hard early as Don Pellegrino had no early speed and then had to thread his way through the field.
Ballina mare I’ll Miss You was fourth,just ahead of an improved run from Taree’s Another Valley, with Scone gelding Husswick given every chance for sixth despite apprentice Port Macquarie jockey Cejay Graham being hit by a bird entering the straight.
Visiting stables and jockeys shared seven of the wins on the eight-race card held in light rain but on a track which remained in the good range.
The only local win was that of five-year-old Taree gelding Ultimate Decision ($18), trained by Ross Stitt and ridden by local jockey Scott Thurlow in the Krambach Hotel Class 3 Handicap over 1614m.
The gelding, owned by Stitt and Doug Maclean, grabbed its second win from its past three starts and would have given Maclean a lift after having surgery for an eye problem.
“He would have been good enough to watch it,”Stitt of his fellow-owner.
Last year’s premier Mid North Coast trainer, Newcastle’s Kris Lees, is right on top to emulate the feat with a winning treble, two of them ridden by jockey Josh Adams, who also had a winning treble.
They combined with three-year-old filly Hermosa Reward ($26) in the United We Stand Maiden Handicap.