Felixtrinidad in a canter
By ADAM HICKS
FELIXTRINIDAD won the $20,000 Carlton Draught Ballina Cup (1600m) yesterday and did it easily.
The Stephen Lee-trained gelding had a dream run as it scored a one-and-a-quarter length win over St Tevoc ($6) and Best View ($6).
Jockey Joshua Jones had enough time to stand in the saddle and raise his crop to the 5000-strong crowd and he cantered over the last 10 metres a clear winner.
I'm So Democratic led from the barriers with Lost Weekend and Special Voyage following close and Felixtrinidad sitting quietly further back in the field.
"I had him exactly where I wanted him," Jones said.
Lee agreed: "We wanted to run him a bit quieter than his past few starts."
As they rounded the home turn Special Voyage kicked but was quickly swamped with St Tevoc and Best View pushing for the lead.
"He was running fifth as they rounded the turn and he was travelling beautifully," Lee said.
"I could tell at the corner that he was going to be hard to beat.
"Josh was just waiting.
"We knew that they'd want to go hard early on the wet track so I told Josh just to sit back on him and come home with one last crack."
And what a crack it was as Felixtrinidad ($3) tore around the two leaders 200 metres out.
"I come up to the leaders and went around them so easily he could've won by three or four lengths," Jones said.
"He had a lot left to give."
The win was Jones' third for the day, the 98th of his career and in his presentation speech he didn't forget to thank his Nan and Pop and Mum and Dad, who cheered wildly with delight at the mention.
Young girls screamed out 'Josh, Josh' across the mounting yard and Jones' face beamed with delight.
"The Ballina Cup is a race I've always wanted to win," he told the crowd.
Lee said that winning his first Cup winner was an awesome feeling.
"We took this horse to Brisbane for the Country Cup and won about twice as much money as (we did today), but winning this is a five times bigger thrill," he said.
Lee dedicated the win to a good mate who was having some trouble.