I WANNA Be A Jeep spreadeagled his opposition and cantered to victory in Friday’s $35,000 Elders Walcha Cup (1440m).
The Jenny Graham-trained gelding son of Congrats battled a strong headwind in the back straight, as well as the attention of last year’s Cup winner Try ‘N’ Run A Muck, before surging clear up the hill and winning.
Ben Looker rode the five-year-old, as Blinkin Artie drove late to finish within two-and-half lengths of him – while topweight Glitra was three lengths away in third place.
Graham and Looker celebrated their first Walcha Cup success.
“[He] went real good,” Looker said of I Wanna Be A Jeep.
“We always came here with the impression of making Try ‘N’ Run A Muck do a bit of work.
“He [Try ‘N’ Run A Muck] had a pretty easy time winning the Inverell and Glen Innes Cups.”
Looker said I Wanna Be A Jeep’s racing pattern, racing on the speed, was ideally suited to the mission of making Try ‘N’ Run A Muck work hard, as well as to the Walcha track.
“Jenny’s done a great job with him too,” he said of the Port Macquarie trainer, who has now won five races in 23 starts with the gelding.
While this is Graham’s first Walcha Cup winner, it is not her first winner at Walcha.
“It’s [the track] been pretty good to me,” she said.
“[I’ve] had some good winners here.”
She said I Wanna Be A Jeep is a “speed’ horse able to run up on the pace, or just behind it.
“We’ve tried to hold him up but he races better when he’s allowed to run,” she said.
She had taken the horse to Brisbane with some of her other stable stars, such as Country Championship-bound Awesome Pluck, but he hadn’t fared as well as some of her other winners.
She will continue to race him over 1300m to 1500m, which she said is his “happy medium”.
Just where he races next, she isn’t sure.
“We’ll see how he pulls up,” she said.
Meanwhile, Komachi Force could “back up” quickly at Port Macquarie after she won at Walcha.
The Tas Morton-trained five-year-old daughter of Komachi was given the perfect run by Belinda Hodder, who won the first race of the day on All Political, and she arrived in time to catch leader Tennessee Man in the final stride.
It was the Port Macquarie mare’s third win at her 23rd start.
“She was well ridden by the girl,” Tas Morton said of Belinda Hodder’s effort.
“She put the writing on the wall at Port the other day (second over 1506m).”
Tas Morton said patience is beginning to pay off with Komachi Force.
“We always said five-year-old over ground and been very patient with her.”
He said “there is a race at Port in eight days for her”.
“It’s an 1800m on Country Championship Qualifier day.”
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