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Mr O’Ceirin produced an exceptional staying performance to win the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) and enhance his Spring Carnival credentials this afternoon.
The five-year-old gelding was well backed on track in the lead-up to the race and punters were delighted when he held on to record a narrow victory from Yulalona and Reuben Percival.
Mr O’Ceirin was forced to do a lot of work in the early stages of the race and it took all the skills of jockey Blake Shinn to get him in a winning position after starting the race from the outside barrier.
While all the other early leaders tired badly in the concluding stages of the race the son of Postponed hit the front with 300 metres left to run and held off the swoopers who came with a rush from the back of the field.
Last start winners Destiny’s Kiss and Zennista started the race as the top two in betting but neither ever looked likely to record back-to-back wins.
Zennista led early and faded badly as the race heated up while Destiny’s Kiss worked home fairly to finish fifth.
Trainer Ciaron Maher considered scratching Mr O’Ceirin from the race after he drew the outside barrier but his faith in his star galloper was rewarded and he has now passed the ballot for the 2013 Melbourne Cup (3200m) although the Caulfield Cup (2400m) remains his major target.
Mr O’Ceirin is currently priced at $101 in Caulfield Cup betting markets.
See below for the full 2013 Grafton Cup results and finishing order.
Mr O’Ceirin is set to be a player during the Spring Racing Carnival and you can find all the best odds at bookmaker.com.au.
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2013 Grafton Cup Results & Finishing Order
Grafton Race 7 – 11/07/2013
|1||5||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Blake Shinn||–||16||56kg||$5|
|2||13||YULALONA||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.2L||11||54kg||$31|
|3||6||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||0.5L||9||55.5kg||$6.50|
|4||11||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||0.6L||7||54kg||$61|
|5||4||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||2.1L||14||56kg||$4.40F|
|6||17||TRAJET||Liam Birchley||Robert Thompson||2.7L||10||54kg||$31|
|7||10||DEVISED||Tim Donnelly||John Kissick (a)||2.8L||4||54kg||$16|
|8||8||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Eddie Wilkinson||4.3L||12||54kg||$14|
|9||12||RAEBURN||Brian Smith||Paul Hammersley||5.4L||1||54kg||$41|
|10||2||ZENNISTA (NZ)||Lisa Latta||Damian Browne||5.7L||6||57kg||$4.80|
|11||14||ZAR ZAR BINKS||Bindi Cheers||Matthew Paget||6.1L||15||54kg||$26|
|12||15||DAZZLE US||Bruce W Hill||Jim Byrne||6.8L||13||54kg||$71|
|13||16||PIAZZA SAN PIETRO (NZ)||Bede Murray||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.6L||2||54kg||$16|
|14||3||FIUMICINO (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Michael Cahill||12.9L||5||57kg||$15|
|15||19||PHRASES||Bindi Cheers||Ms Belinda Hodder||13.5L||3||54kg||$101|
|16||1||VOILA ICI (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Glen Colless||23.2L||8||59kg||$12|
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