Victory Hotel holds off Casino Benjo to win the 2015 Rockhampton Cup Photo Matti Brooks/ Morning Bulletin
Victory Hotel holds off Casino Benjo to win the 2015 Rockhampton Cup Photo Matti Brooks/ Morning Bulletin Matti Brooks

Bundaberg's Victory Hotel clinches Rockhampton Cup

THE swerves, curves and turns and the highs and lows of the most unpredictable roller coaster ride of them all - horse racing ran true to form on Rockhampton Cup Day at Callaghan Park on Saturday.

Typifying that was the running of the $100,000 Rockhampton Cup (1600m) which proved a career highlight for winning Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner and Downs apprentice James Orman with favourite Victory Hotel ($4.60).

However, regrettably the Cup claimed a number of causalities when three jockeys - Sairyn Fawke (Power Ranger); Brad Stewart (Vandalised) and Adrian Coome (Choice Bro) - came to grief near the 900 metres point.

From observation, Power Ranger fell, dislodging Fawke while Vandalised and Stewart following were unable to avoid the drama, thus coming to grief while Coome was dislodged from Choice Bro as a consequence.

Coome sustained an injury to his left elbow while Fawke has serious injuries and was flown to the neurological ward of the Royal Brisbane Hospital. Stewart escaped injury and rode at the Sunshine Coast yesterday while Vandalised, last year's Rocky Cup winner, injured a tendon and is likely to be retired.

Choice Bro and Power Ranger required veterinary attention for non-life threatening injuries.

In a hard-fought finish, Victory Hotel won the Cup by a nose from Casino Benjo (Bobby El-Issa, $13.00), providing him with the enviable record of nine wins and six placings from just 16 starts.

Victory Hotel (ch g 4 Hotel Grand-Satin Dream x Clang) has won his past four starts, all at Callaghan Park in succession, while he has never missed a win or a place there in 14 appearances.

Rockhampton's Capricornia Yearling Sale has again unearthed another talented youngster, judging by the runaway 3.3 lengths win of Supreme Jet (Stewart, $6.00) in Saturday's race for juveniles.

Ironically, Supreme Jet (ch g 2 Jet Spur-Navarro (NZ) x Entrepreneur), won the $50,000 Capricornia Yearling Sales April 2016 2YO Plate (1300m).

Raced by his breeders Bill and Di Ouston, along with members of winning trainer Mick Attard's family, Supreme Jet is a superb individual with a physique far beyond his youth.

"His form should read three wins from three starts instead of two and third," Mick Attard said.

"It was a brilliant win today. If all goes well and he shows me he can take another run, I am tempted to start him in a $100,000 Two-Year-Old over 1400 metres at the Sunshine Coast on July 4. Judging by today's win, he should run out the 1400 metres."

That seems logical as Supreme Jet's mother Navarro, a 1600 metres winner, was sired by English 2000 Guineas winner Entrepreneur, a son of 13 times super-star stallion Saddler's Well.

With the blood of Sir Tristram and Sir Ivor running through his veins, Supreme Jet is infused with stamina which should see him run at least 1600 metres and arguably further.

Later, another Capricornia Yearling Sale graduate, this time from the class of 2012 in Hidden Nature (br m4 Hidden Dragon-Maredamad X Marechal), scored her third successive Rockhampton win.

Overcoming the outside draw of 13, which is extremely disadvantageous from the 1050 metres starting point, Hidden Nature provided pick-up rider Anthony "Ant" Allen with a game 0.75 lengths win over inexperienced Mamselle Corday (Alisha Taylor, $13.00).

Bred by the Sturgiss family, from The Caves, and owned by Michelle and Ken Walker, from the Capricorn Coast, Hidden Nature has now raced four times under trainer Kevin Hansen for three wins and a second.

From 18 starts, Hidden Nature has won $54,500 in prize money with more looming.

Former Melbourne placegetter, the now six-year-old mare Nadhima (Matthew Powell, $3.50), was the easiest winner on Saturday's card, taking out the $20,000 Class 2 (1050m) by 4.3 lengths.

Raced by a large group of owners, including many from the Gladstone Turf Club, Nadhima continued the grand winning run of Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie. Under-rated Ray West-trained Say I Won't (Scott Sheargold, $5.50) looked good, winning first-up in the Open (1050m).

A bargain buy for $1100 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Yearling Sale, Say I Won't is certainly "best for Gracemere's Ray West" by now winning $76,625 in stakes.



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