Chris Munce took advantage of the recent Ballina Cup day to catch up with friends and family.
Chris Munce took advantage of the recent Ballina Cup day to catch up with friends and family.

Munce serves up memorable Cox Plate

By STEVE SPINKS

FORMER Casino boy Chris Munce was the toast of Melbourne on Saturday after he rode unheralded three-year-old Savabeel to a Cox Plate victory at Moonee Valley.

Munce rode a masterful race, keeping Fields Of Omagh at bay, with Starcraft running on for third.

It was a sweet win for Munce after he had wasted more than three kilograms over three weeks to get the ride.

Already a lightweight rider, Munce stripped down to under 50kg.

After punishing his body to get the win, nobody could have blamed him if he had celebrated with a few beers and a T-bone steak.

Munce was back on the Northern Rivers only last month, logically enough attending a race meeting.

He was a guest of the Ballina Jockey Club on Ballina Cup day.

While there, he managed to catch up with his parents, Jim and Gale, who still live locally, and brother Danny, who was back from a stint riding overseas.

Munce's performance on Savabeel has now propelled the young horse to superstardom ? the first three-year-old to win the Cox Plate since Octagonal in 1995.

Owner Graeme Rogerson is preparing Savabeel for the Victoria Derby at Flemington on Saturday and has refused to rule the horse out of Tuesday week's Melbourne Cup.

n Race results: Page 33



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