LOCALLY trained, Kendall-owned, gelding Subtle Grey ($3), scored a magnificent win in the $27,000 Wingham Services Wingham Cup (1600m) after the shock withdrawl of top jockey Corey Brown's mount Cash Spinner at the barriers at Taree.
It was trainer Wayne Wilkes, owner Les Tinkler and Irish apprentice jockey 24-year-old Louise Day's first triumph in the cup.
Former local apprentice, dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brown, was again denied a win in his hometown cup when seven-year-old mare Cash Spinner, trained at Taree by Ross Stitt for owner Gary Rollings, and specked in betting from $15 to $11, was deemed by a vet to be sore in a leg when at the back of the starting barriers.
Brown advised officials something didn't feel right with the mare on the way to the start.
Day gave her five-year-old grey gelding the run of the race just behind the leaders and scored by 1.4 lengths from Warwick Farm gelding Sacred Edge ($17), trained by Clare Cunningham, with a similar distance to Coffs Harbour galloper Sawtell ($4.20), from the Brett Dodson stable.
"Subtle Grey has been up a long time this preparation but he had won two races here and the distance suited," Wilkes said.
"Louise has won mostly on him and knows him inside and out."
Wilkes said the gelding, bred at Les's son Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm, was only lightly raced for its four wins from 16 starts, the owner not being trackside but dealing in gallopers on the Gold Coast.
Day said she had a lovely run.."nothing pestered us.
"Wayne has done a fantastic job and the horse loves this track."
Wingham Services Club president Harry Rider and race club chairman Greg Coleman congratulated connections, Coleman adding that Day was the first Irish rider to win the cup.
Wilkes complained he hadn't had a winner in May but finished this meeting with a winning double when three-year-old gelding Dulette ($10) scored by just under a length in the Australian Hotel Wingham Class 1 Handicap over 1250m at its third run for him.
A group of friends and first-time owners, headed by Tony Maguire, paid $13,000 for Dulette bought in Victoria.
The gelding was a handy pick-up ride for Port Macquarie jockey Ben Looker after Sydney hoop Glyn Schofield's no show-this giving Looker three wins on the card.
The other two were Whaler Bill ($3.80) for Wyong trainer Ben Hill in the XXXX Gold Maiden Handicap over 1400m and Matakauri ($11) which made it two wins in a row at Taree for Gosford trainer Nick Mitchell in the Wingham Services Club Corey Brown Cup Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1300m.
Brown was unplaced on Maui Princess, trained at Gosford by Angela Davies, in the cup named after him but he didn't go home empty handed and celebrated his forthcoming 43rd birthday on Saturday with a winning treble.
He kicked off his streak in the Taree Gold Cup Carnival 16/18 August 2YO Handicap over 1250m with a 2.5 lengths romp on first starter Big Parade ($2.70), trained by Cunningham.
His next win was by 3.3 lengths on three-year-old filly Zaniah ($1.90 to $1.70), trained at Newcastle by Kris Lees in the Sardos Coffee-Amazing Maiden Plate over 1000m.
Stable foreman Mal Ollerton said the filly "had a few issues" in three starts in New Zealand and was having its first run for Lees.
"She is a nice, big girl and will make a wonderful broodmare in the future," he said.
Brown had just under a length up his sleeve in scoring on $10,000 buy, four-year-old mare Classy Anna ($3.90) for the McGrath family,it trained at Wyong by Allan Denham in the Dennis Bridge Painting And Decorating Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1000m.
Scone trainer Rodney Northam and his regular rider Robert Thompson combined for a just under a length win with three-year-old filly True Finesse ($2.30) in the Bakewell Haulage Class 1 & Maiden Plate over 1600m.
Northam's local family was trackside to cheer him on with the galloper he has on lease from the owner who later will breed from her.