AN EMOTIONAL Kassie Furness fought back tears as she wrapped her arms around Elkay Star’s neck and kissed him on the forehead after combining with the four-year-old to score a runaway win in the Coca-Cola Cup (1206m) at Port Macquariev on Saturday.
Furness became emotional after owner-trainer Ronald Broomhall heaped praise on the inexperienced apprentice for her smart ride.
Elkay Star was trapped wide early and with no chance of slotting in closer to the fence, Furness surged forward to take up the running and dictate terms.
In the straight she gave Elkay Star more reign and in the last 200 metres he exploded away to win by five lengths without being extended in a time just outside the track record.
“It was Kassie’s initiative that won the race for us, we have her to thank,” Broomhall said. “It was a brilliant ride.”
With that Furness teared up, kissed the horse then turned to Brommhall and said “You are making me emotional Ronald and I don’t like it”.
Broomhall however remained calm despite bringing off an amazing training feat.
The horse had not raced since winning at Port Macquarie on November 16. It was part of a deliberate attempt by Broomhall to try and win the cup first up and there was obviously pressure on Furness to make sure it happened.
“The horse will have three days off then go to the ATC meeting at Wyong on January 16 for a race over 1100 metres,” Broomhall said. “If he can win we will look at taking him to town.”
Broomhall is keen to book Kathy O’Hara for the Wyong ride and few jockeys ride that track better.
Elkay Star was given to Broomhall by Reg Rowley and was told he could have the son of Assafa provided he broke him in, got him to the races and gave him half the prize money from his first win.
That maiden win was at Port Macquarie in early October and since then the horse has had another four starts for two wins and two seconds. His progression in such a short space of time has been nothing short of amazing and is testament to Broomhall’s training skills.
Elkay Star was the only horse that punters wanted to back, firming from $2.60 to $2, while Satan’s Chariot, which finished sixth and the only other horse in the market, eased from $3.60 to $4.
Peter Graham slotted Satan’s Chariot into second place on the fence behind Elkay Star but had no answer to the winner’s explosive sprint and was beaten a long way.
The Bob Graham-trained Sir Will Do, ridden by apprentice Daniel Holten, and the Colt Prosser trained Rigamarole (Robert Agnew) finished second and third respectively.