IMPORTED galloper Collaboration, a Chris Waller cast-off, made a one-act affair of the XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) yesterday, winning the race by 10-and-a-half lengths in front of a crowd of more than 5000.
Club officials declared it the biggest crowd of the past five years.
It was the first major cup win for his Coffs Harbour- based trainer Joanne Hardy and the first for leading Brisbane jockey Larry Cassidy.
It was also the first time Hardy has had a runner in the cup and the first time Cassidy has ridden in it.
A mid-race move by Cassidy went a long way towards the win.
"They were going slowly in front and I knew he was a one-paced horse so I thought, blow it, I am going to front to set my own pace," Cassidy said.
"I had gone back through the tapes of his races and I knew he could do that.
"However, I did not realise how far in front we were until I saw the screen on the inside of the track.
"Up until then I was too scared to look behind me in case they were breathing down our necks.
"The good thing about the win is that he went to the line with his ears pricked and he is only going to improve."
Hardy, who was the secretary-manager at the Ballina Jockey Club in 2002 and 2003, has been training for five years.
She bought Collaboration over the internet for $22,000 for a syndicate based in Hong Kong.
"They wanted to get involved in racing in Australia and chose me as their number one trainer," Hardy said.
"Collaboration was bought for a lot of money in England but only had three starts for Chris and was put on the market.
"It helps when you have a top jockey on them.
"We might go to the Port Macquarie Cup now."