Davies has Lismore redemption

CESSNOCK trainer Robert Davies wasn't complaining when the nine-horse field for the Ireland Honda Rousillon Handicap (1400m) at the Lismore Cup meeting Thursday was reduced to seven starters.

With De Bono and Silver Mountain scratched, Davies made the most of the $30,000 prize money up for grabs as Afforestation ($4), ridden by Jason Taylor, scored a one-and-three-quarter length win over Legal Giant ($4.60) and Running Rich ($31).

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“I wasn't complaining. I drew one and that was a good barrier for him,” Davies said.

Afforestation was a last-start winner at Wyong and it was Northern Star racing writer Grahame Timbrell who suggested that Davies bring the horse north for the Rousillon.

“Some people say that he is suspect at the distance but he's not, you just have to ride him right,” Davies said.

“And Jason rode him right.”

Afforestation is owned by Davies' wife, Sandra, and twin daughters Kim and Kelly, and he said they were 'hysterical' after the win.

“They are probably getting oxygen right now,” he said.

“They just love him.”

Davies said the seven-year-old gelding had now probably done enough to earn a rest.

“I'll ring Grahame and see what we should do next,” he said.

Davies came to Lismore 30 years ago, was beaten in a photo finish and to this day claims he won the race.

“I sulked all the way home and declared I would never start a horse at Lismore again,” Davies said before the race yesterday.

“The prizemoney and the fact that 1400 metres suits the horse perfectly convinced me to change my mind and take Lismore off the banned list.”

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