Queensland gelding Pepperwood has beaten a host of southern hopes to take top honours in the $80,000 2012 Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m).
After being ridden patiently by Danny Nikolic mid-field for the majority of the race, the Sydney rider steered Pepperwood perfectly to allow him gain a run along the inside.
With 100 metres to go the experienced gelding found an extra gear and was able to kick away from his rivals and eventually go on to win by 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Clever Hans and local hope Erinsea.
But Pepperwood nearly didn’t contest the Coffs Harbour feature, with trainer Liam Birchley ready to send him to the paddock following a disappointing sixth in the Tattersall’s Mile on July 21.
“To be honest entering the Cup was a bit of an afterthought,” Birchley said.
“I was about to send him to the paddock after he struggled last start but when the opportunity to race at Coffs Harbour came up I jumped at the chance.”
A winner of 10 of 57 starts, the son of Easy Rocking has won over $900,000 in prize money and Birchley is hoping to surpass $1 million with the veteran.
The Brisbane-based eight-year-old has scored three black-type victories and Birchley indicated he would attempt to chase more over the summer months.
“He goes to the paddock for a while now and I aimi to bring him back for the Brisbane summer series,” Birchley said.
“I’m hoping to crack the million [dollars] with him.”
The win capped a successful two days in the saddle for Danny Nikolic who booted home six winners across the carnival.
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Coffs Harbour Cup 2012 – Results
|1||2||PEPPERWOOD||Liam Birchley||Danny Nikolic||–||5||58.5kg||$5.50|
|2||4||CLEVER HANS||Leon Davies||Glenn Lynch||1.5L||8||54kg||$5F|
|3||6||ERINSEA||Brett Dodson||Matthew Bennett||3.3L||12||54kg||$6.50|
|4||1||YOUTHFUL JACK||Ross Stitt||Ms Cassandra Schmidt (a2)||3.9L||1||62kg (cd 60kg)||$12|
|5||15||TOUCAN UKELELE||Brett Bellamy||Chle Lee (a3)||4.4L||4||54kg (cd 51.5kg)||$17|
|6||18||TO DUBAWI GO||Neil Osborne||Billy Owen (a2)||4.8L||2||54kg||$51|
|7||13||MAGNOLIA LANE||Marc Conners||Blake Spriggs (a0)||5.6L||16||54kg||$12|
|8||5||IRISH LOVE||Tim Martin||Daniel Ganderton||6.1L||7||54kg||$15|
|9||8||SAVE A BUCK||Trevor Hardy||Raymond Spokes||7.8L||14||54kg||$21|
|10||12||LIFEBUOY||Terry McCarthy||Terry Treichel||7.9L||3||54kg||$41|
|11||20||LONG JOURNEY HOME||Neil Godbolt||Matthew Dracos||8L||10||54kg||$81|
|12||9||BETTER NOT DOUBT||Neil Godbolt||Chris Whiteley||10.4L||11||54kg||$15|
|13||17||LETCHWORTH||Marc Conners||Marlon Dolendo||12.4L||13||54kg||$14|
|14||16||GERONIMO JACK||Peter Goodenough||Ms Samantha Munro (a0)||14.4L||6||54kg||$51|
|15||3||AUSWORLD||Pat Duff||Matthew Palmer||17.8L||15||54kg||$15|
|16||11||WISHWYN||Stephen Farley||Ms Alysha Collett (a0)||23.2L||9||54kg||$12|