Blinkers do the trick in big race
KUTTAMURRA Al relished the addition of blinkers when he edged out race favourite Ambitious Prince to win the $75,000 O'Brien Electrical and Plumbing Lismore Cup (2100m).
"First one for me, good effort by the horse so extremely happy,” trainer Lindsay Hatch said.
"I was confident in him but it doesn't always come off.
"We should have won last year but our horse got run off the track.
"I'll probably take this one to the Townsville Cup next year; he wasn't quite ready this year.”
The Toowoomba-trained seven-year-old gelding was having his first start at Lismore and coming off a disappointing ninth in a 1610m Open at Grafton on September 10.
That prompted the trainer to apply blinkers for the cup yesterday.
"That sharpened him up,” Hatch said after his son of Monaco Consul beat the Coffs Harbour-trained Ambitious Prince by a nose in a photo-finish.
Jockey Michael Cahill had Kuttamurra Al well placed, fourth behind leader Lookin' At You, and sprinted clear with Ambitious Prince and Daniel Bowen's Peak Hill looming.
However Cahill prevailed, notching his fourth Lismore Cup.
"I've been fortunate to have ridden some nice horses in it,” Cahill said.
"I did think he just won but had to balance him a few times. He got off a little but to his credit he really toughed it out over the last 200m when it really counted.”
Kuttamuarra Al has now won seven of his 42 starts for more than $159,000 in prizemoney.
"It's a big thrill, we set him for it,” Hatch said. "Josh Oliver (who rode Kuttamurra Al when ninth at Grafton last start) got off him and said he couldn't win this cup. Thanks Josh.”