THE WINNER: Right, Peter Graham pilots Serpentine to the Lismore Cup yesterday.
THE WINNER: Right, Peter Graham pilots Serpentine to the Lismore Cup yesterday.

Peter?s perfect day at the Cup

By STEVE SPINKS

sport@northernstar.com.au

SOMETIMES you just can't beat experience.

Just ask Port Macquarie trainer Robert Murrell after his well-raced stayer Serpentine produced a brilliant finish to claim the $40,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) yesterday.

Ridden perfectly by leading Port Macquarie jockey Peter Graham, Serpentine was last on the back straight before blitzing the leaders in the final 200 metres to take the Cup.

Before the race, Murrell rated the nine-year-old a big chance after running well at Coffs Harbour and Taree.

"He had a very good run at the Coffs Harbour Cup for sixth and a good third in the Taree Cup last month," Murrell said.

"He ran a real big race here last year but ran an unlucky sixth.

"Peter rode him really well.

"He's (Serpentine) started 60 times and Peter's probably ridden him 50 of those runs.

"He (Graham) helped educate the horse."

It was a special moment for Murrell.

He's had the horse since it was a yearling and he was ecstatic to break through for the Cup win.

Serpentine finished two-and-a-quarter lengths in front of Brisbane-based Beale Street, ridden by Michael Cahill.

Maizy May was third, a further two-and-a-quarter lengths back.

Special mention should be made of Graham's ride.

To be sitting three lengths last in the back straight showed a lot of patience.

"That's the way he (Serpentine) races," Murrell said.

"He's been last at the turn in his last three races.

"With 600 metres to go I started clapping because I knew they (the field) had gone out too quick too early.

"We beat 'em with brains."

Graham, who only returned from a broken wrist at the start of the season, was glad his patience paid off.

"You either look good or not so good," he said.

"I know this horse. But you need a bit of luck as well."

Top-weight and favourite Concitare, the winner of the Coffs Harbour Cup, trailed the leaders for most of the race but couldn't force its way forward and finished sixth.

Sometimes there is no substitute for experience.



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