A very tough effort from a brilliant Tasmanian raider in the Mornington Cup 2015 in Victoria this weekend has seen the Scott Brunton-trained Banca Mo earn a ballot exemption for the end-of-year Caulfield Cup.
Tough Speed seven-year-old Banca Mo travelled interstate this week for a shot at some lucrative black-type and it proved a winning trip with the evergreen veteran scoring an upset in the $350,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m).
Now a winner of 12 of his 31 career starts, the gelding came via a string of top three runs back home during the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
Super consistent during the carnival the horse managed a Hobart Cup third to Geegees Blackflash and was second to Genuine Lad in the Launceston Cup last time out on February 25, but couldn’t win one of the majors in the Apple Isle.
He was able to atone for his Seven Mile Beach-based trainer Brunton at Mornington today however with young Dean Holland, fresh off his Adelaide Cup victory earlier in the autumn, giving the galloper an excellent ride from a wide barrier.
“A very tough horse,” was Holland’s post-win examination.
“We drew wide, but that didn’t matter.
“I got a lovely run inside the leader and had it pretty easy.”
There proved no issue with barrier 15 for Banca Mo who Holland allowed to roll forward leading in the early stages from the Team Hawkes-trained Entirely Platinum last seen running sixth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) a fortnight ago at Flemington.
Entirely Platinum then took up the lead, taking them around the bend and into the straight with a host of genuine chances hot on his tail.
With 600m left to travel Banca Mo went to the outside, the runs from the challenges including Tony McEvoy’s Australian Cup failure (15th) Big Memory who had a very tough run throughout the Mornington Cup, especially over the first 600 metres, and the Peter Moody-trained Wish Come True coming thick and fast.
Renew and Gamblin’ Guru were also right up in the finish looking for the winning run home down the outside, but it was Banca Mo and five-year-old Big Memory who pulled clear from the pack to battle it out.
The Tassie star, who paid $14 for the win through Ladbrokes.com.au proved too good however with a three-quarter length win over market mover Big Memory ($6.50), whose tough early win probably cost him the win, on the line.
“Mine was tough,” Holland said.
“I was always traveling (well)…that was a tough effort.
“I thought he was a good each way chance.
“He’s a very nice horse and he that proved today.”
It was also a very nice run from an 86-rated horse Don Doremo ($9.50) in third, Robbie Laing’s four-year-old only making the field as the second emergency after a number of scratchings from the race.
He was right up in class in his black-type debut off the back of a Moonee Valley win in a Benchmark 90 and caught the eye with his top three effort.
Also aiding Banca Mo’s cause was the cut out of the ground, the earlier rain on the course helping him get the bikkies.
“A huge thrill,” Brunton said after the victory.
“He’s a horse that was gonna be a superstar I reckon, but was struck down with a bad injury and had no luck back in Tassie.
“Just brilliant today, what he may not have had at home, he got something today, a little bit of retribution.”
There is now a chance Banca Mo will return to Melbourne during the spring carnival targeting the race he’s exempt from ballot in, the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October and possibly also the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
“I’ve always wanted to run in those Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, so this might be my opportunity to get a ride in them,” a hopeful Holland ended with.
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2015 Mornington Cup Results & Finishing Order
Mornington Race 9 – 28/03/2015
|1||9||BANCA MO||Scott Brunton||Dean Holland||–||12||56kg||$13|
|2||3||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||0.75L||13||58.5kg||$6.50|
|3||16e||DON DOREMO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||1.75L||5||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$9.50|
|4||11||WISH COME TRUE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.95L||11||56kg||$9.50|
|5||1||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2.7L||8||59kg||$4.20F|
|6||14||GAMBLIN’ GURU||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Patrick Moloney (a)||2.9L||6||54kg||$13|
|7||15e||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||3.9L||14||54kg||$101|
|8||6||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Chad Schofield||4.4L||3||57.5kg||$41|
|9||12||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Ryan Maloney||4.7L||4||55.5kg||$20|
|10||5||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||Robbie Fradd||4.8L||1||58.5kg||$9.50|
|11||2||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||4.9L||7||59kg||$7.50|
|12||10||RENEW (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Chris Symons||5.4L||10||56kg||$21|
|13||17e||MARTINVAST (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Ms Michelle Payne||5.7L||2||54kg||$31|
|14||8||GOTTA TAKE CARE||Darren Weir||Jye McNeil (a)||11.2L||9||56.5kg||$101|
|–||4||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||13||GENUINE LAD||Bill Ryan||Ben Melham||–||0||–||–|