NINE-year-old Wyong gelding The Paymaster (10-1), bought as a show horse, gave a strong field a towelling in leading all the way for an easy win in the $60,000 Taree Motorama-XXXX Gold 2012 Taree Cup (2000m). The Taree-Wingham Race Club’s TAB meeting was conducted before a bumper crowd at Bushland Drive Racecourse.
The galloper bought for $5000-and didn’t start its racing career until well advanced as a five-year-old-captured its 11th win and took its prizemoney to more than $210,000 in a beautiful tactical ride by 24-year-old Broadmeadow apprentice jockey Alex Stokes, resulting in her biggest win.
The win would have been a tonic for elderly Wyong trainer Jan Cashin who has not been in the best health of late and was “too sick” to watch The Paymaster notch his third and most important win at the track in only five starts.
The win put paid to the ambition of local trainer Ross Stitt achieving his fourth cup win with five-year-old gelding Southern Shimmer (3-1 to 5-2) and for Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson who was after his third cup win.
Whereas Southern Shimmer was making its move 10-wide on the bend, The Paymaster with an eight-length advantage, rounded it like a greyhound, pinched the vital break, and had just over a three lengths margin over the Taree gelding at the winning post.
Kempsey seven-year-old gelding Rodeo Playboy (20-1) did what he did in last year’s cup behind Taree’s Island Dane by running third, another two lengths back, with the rest of the field, headed by Coffs Harbour gelding Castlemagne King and Taree’s Zippy Zariz back with long margins.
Rival trainers of The Paymaster knew the gelding would lead but expected a few others to attack during the race, something which didn’t happen, and the Wyong galloper relished his free-rolling style to storm away for a pronounced win for Wyong owner Garry Truran.
He said the only reason The Paymaster, which suffered a stake through a hoof as a youngster, was racing and not being a show horse was he and Cashin thought “we will see how he goes”.
“I have known Jan for 20 years and this is the best horse I have owned.
“When he has finished racing, he will be given away to a good family to be a show horse.”
Stokes was certainly excited at being able to ride The Paymaster to glory because the gelding also was her first winner on a Saturday in Sydney.
“I was able to sneak away at the 800m and winning by so far was a big thrill.”
The front running tactics certainly broke up the field with up to 20 lengths from first to last at one stage, Southern Shimmer in its customary role being about 12th early.
“I was happy with the run and my horse will go next to the Lismore Cup,” Stitt said.
Race club chairman Don Hopkins was appreciative of the big crowd’s support and that of the sponsors.
Ross Hardes, of Taree Motorama, in presenting the cup, said his firm was pleased to have been involved with the cup meeting for the last 12 years and keen to keep up the association.
“It is a good day for everyone and congratulations for a great win,” he told Truran.
In reply, Truran said: “We have been very lucky with this horse at this track.”
Hopkins said Stokes was a great jockey on front runners and had a lot of success at the track.
Stitt earlier had success with four-year-old mare Falvelon’s Angel (4-1 to 9-4) which scored easily by just over two lengths for his apprentice jockey Samantha Munro in the NBN Television Fillies & Mares Class 1 Handicap over 1250m.
The win gave Tamworth owner Errol French success as he bred the mare,as he did with one of the cup favourites Blinkin Easy, which didn’t fire as it had in being runner-up in last year’s cup