Tough galloper Harmysian finished strongly to defeat favourite Red Sun Sensation and local hope Station One in the 2023 bet365 Kyneton Cup last Wednesday.
Harmysian was having his third start after being off the scene through injury for almost a year, and carried his stake earnings over the $300,000 mark.
The seven-year-old gave young Mornington trainer Clayton Douglas his 50th race win, and top rated jockey Jye McNeil was elated to be able to land his first Kyneton Cup.
McNeil hails from Kerang and now has over 950 winners to his credit, including a Melbourne Cup.
Harmysian started a $8 chance in Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club’s $125,000 feature event for the season, and earned a place in the Country Cup Final at Caulfield this Saturday.
There were seven starters in the race, and Winona Costin was soon in front aboard 2022 Kyneton Cup winner Station One from the Liam Howley stable.
The pace came on and McNeil made a wide run on Harmysian to make up ground near the home turn, and was able to overhaul Red Sun Sensation, with Station One ($15) holding on for third, two lengths behind the winner.
Principal owner of the Cup winner is OTI Racing, formed back in 1999 and described as one of the biggest racehorse syndication companies in Australia.
The Cup presentation took place with a large gathering in the mounting yard, with K&HRRC president Gary O’Meara – Miranda Park Stud principal at Hesket – congratulating the owners, trainer and jockey on the success of Harmysian.
All round it was pleasing to see the Kyneton Cup meeting full fledged again after the impact of Covid and flooding in the past three years.
The track was upgraded to a ‘Good 3’ before the first of nine events, leading to several runners being scratched.
Major sponsors of races were thanked throughout the day, and dark clouds and lighting which appeared in the distance before the Cup fortunately dispersed.
McNeil took riding honours with a double, and the Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman trained a double – Mambo Dancer and outsider Miss Russia.
BIG DAY FOR HOWLEY
Locally trained gallopers made their presence felt on Cup Day, with Liam Howley who trains at Macedon Lodge and Kyneton, extremely pleased though he would have loved to see Station One land the big race again.
Howley saddled up four runners, and first starters Cordozar and Late Night Artist were impressive in the Macedon Ranges Glass Maiden Plate over 1454 metres.
The finish was almost a triple dead heat, with Cordozar ($7.50) flying home to snatch victory from Sportsbeat and Late Night Artist ($16), in front with metres to travel.
Howley said his two three-year-olds should be well suited to up to 2000 metres. The winner is raced by Liam Howley Racing Hong Kong.
Blake McDougall rode the winner, and Howley said the two first starters have shown plenty of ability, being selected through ‘Ready to Run’ trials.
Topweight New York Hurricane topped off a very good day for the Howley stable with a last to first victory in the Evolve Interiors BM64 Handicap over 1856 metres.
Having his 21st start, New York Hurricane firmed in the market to be $3.30 favourite, and Jason Maskiell took the four-year-old wide at the right time to maintain a strong run to the line and win by a long neck making plenty of local punters happy.
The four-year-old chalked up his fourth win, and took earnings well over the $200,000 mark.
The Mick Sell-trained Lovin‘ Laughs, ridden by Madison Lloyd, ran yet another brave race, finishing a close third in the Prendergast Earthmoving BM70 Handicap over 1464 metres.
Kyneton trainer Matthew Fsadni produced five-year-old Barnage for his first start, and the gelding ran a close third over 1103m at $61, just behind another local in the Danielle Chapman-trained Snappy Tycoon ($26).
Melbourne Cup: In the Melbourne Cup last Tuesday, Liam Howley’s runner Virtuous Circle ($151) finished in 18th place after racing at the rear of the field for much of the 3200m. The winner was Without A Fight, ridden by Mark Zahra and trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman.