A decade long quest to win the Gympie Cup was realised by jockey Desiree Gill when she steered Harney ($2.40 fav) to a popular win on Saturday, October 27 in the Holcim Gympie Cup 1600m.
Although Harney gave trainer Barry Gill his third success in the Gympie Cup, Desiree’s best effort in the 1600m Cup had been a third prior to Saturday.
The win capped off a great day for the Gill stable and owners Mr and Mrs Edward Allen with the combination winning both the Cup and the other feature race, the $9000 Connolly’s News Express Handicap 1030m with Unique Fuse.
Gympie trainer Kerry Munce, was another smiling after a winning double on the six event Cup card. A group of Gympie owners, including Gympie Turf Club president, Spencer Slatter and GTC Patron Bill Bishop had very wide grins on display after handsome High Chaparral galloper, Tallahatchie (B. Derbyshire) bolted in with the 1470m Class 3 at his first start for them.
Stablemate, Oakmantel then followed up with a comfortable win in the QTIS Maiden ridden by Ray Hancock who had won earlier on Light in the Field in the 1170m Class B.
Roma galloper, Prince of Monaco (K. Gates) won the other event, the 850m Class 2 to complete a great days racing in front of a stylishly attired crowd of around 2000.
A need to concentrate
A plan not to go too early was uppermost in jockey Desiree Gill’s mind prior to the 1600m Gympie Cup as her mount Harney often has lost concentration and the race in previous outings.
Gill poised Harney just behind leader Mimics ($5, Jason Hoopert) in the run to the home turn before making her move about 250m from the judge.
The six year old Footstepsinthesand gelding darted to the lead as heads were turned for home and the race was all over as Mimics could not go with him.
Harney went on to win by two and a half lengths from Mimics who had beaten him by a half length in the Wondai Cup 1465m the previous Saturday.
Gladstone visitor, the Thangool Cup winner, Blaze to Fortune ($3.10, Dean McWhinney) was a distant third ahead of Metaphysical ($7, Billie Rose Derbyshire) who almost fell when he knuckled over badly at the start.
An $11 000 Magic Millions yearling purchase by Mr Ted Allen, Harney is by the unbeaten Irish 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand (by Giant’s Causeway) who spent only two breeding seasons in Australia for Coolmore.
Harney was second in 2011’s Gympie Cup after having won the rich Gympie Muster Cup and was second in that race this year. He has now had four Gympie starts for two wins and two seconds with a career tally of six wins and 13 placings from his 36 starts.
Fuse Detonates Again
Unique Fuse extended his unbeaten record in Gympie to five when the Chateau Istana four-year-old won the Connolly’s Newsexpress handicap over his pet distance of 1030m.
Put under pressure all the way by the heavily backed Piccolo Dynasty, Unique Fuse responded strongly in the straight to win by a length from the fast finishing, Mr Bulista (Jason Hoopert, $5) with the Kerry Munce trained Piccolo Dynasty ($2.50, Ian Coombes) a head back in third.
One bet of $1000 was recorded on Piccolo Dynasty with Unique Fuse starting at the value odds of $2.50. Trainer Barry Gill has made a habit of winning this race on Cup day having trained the winner of three of the last four Connolly’s News Express races.
Story courtesy Barry Fitzhenry
Photo by Noel Pascoe