A rejuvenated Up Cups continued a gun run of Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival form on Monday afternoon to hand his Seven Mile Beach-based trainer David Brunton with a maiden Hobart Cup success.
Only a year ago Brunton and connections were looking at retiring Helike five-year-old Up Cups, but in a remarkable return to form over the past few months the five-year-old enjoyed his biggest career win in the $200,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m).
Coming off back-to-back wins over 2100m and 2200m respectively at Hobart Racecourse, the galloper relished a step up to the mile and a half and another run at the track with regular hoop David Pires in the saddle.
Dropping back from 59kg under weight-for-age conditions last start, Up Cups ($7.80) carried just 55.5kg on Monday and held off the Stuart Gandy-trained Geegees Goldengirl ($7.20) by a half-length for the second time on the trot.
In third was Clinton McDonald’s Victorian visitor Beliveau ($13.90) who was just over a length off the winner and ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne.
Hall of Famer Brunton was full of emotion post-win, thrilled to win what he now knows as his home town cup having moved to Tasmanian nearly two decades ago.
“We took this horse to Longford just over a year ago to run in a lowly benchmark race and I fully expected not to take him back home and that he would embark on a career as a pony club horse,” Brunton told Tas Racing on Monday.
“He had been racing without much purpose so we planned to lead with him but he missed the start by three lengths.
“But much to our surprise he flashed home and won and he’s been winning ever since.”
Brunton now boasts the Triple Crown having won the Launceston Cup with Prevailing in 2012, the Devonport Cup in 2015 with Lander Dollar and now the Hobart Cup with Up Cups.
“I’ve won a Hobart Cup so now I can go back into retirement and give the horse back to my son Scott to train,” he said with a smile.
“I am also rapt for the owners Rick and Tina Polley who have had a tough time of it this week with Tina’s dad passing away two days ago.
“This might help them get through what has been a very tough time for the whole family.”
Last year’s Tasmanian Jockeys Premiership winner Pires also celebrated his biggest career win with the Hobart Cup result this season.
“I won the jockeys premiership last season and that was a real high point but winning the Hobart Cup is now by biggest achievement,” he said.
“To win it on Up Cups also is special because this horse was close to be sacked just over a year ago and this time in he’s won a Brighton Cup, Summer Cup and a Hobart Cup and he’ll probably go and win the Launceston Cup.”
The short-priced Hobart Cup favourite meanwhile was the Chris Waller-trained Quick Strike ($2.90) who sadly failed to finish the race after jockey Damien Oliver pulled up abruptly with him.
The horse broke a cannon bone and was put down post-race.
See below for the full Hobart Cup 2016 results then head to Ladbrokes.com.au for the best racing odds heading into the autumn carnival classics over the coming months.
2016 Hobart Cup Results
Hobart Race 7 – 08/02/2016
|1||6||UP CUPS||David Brunton||David Pires||–||8||55.5kg||$7.80|
|2||2||GEEGEES GOLDENGIRL||Stuart Gandy||Ms Sigrid Carr (a)||0.5L||11||56.5kg||$7.20|
|3||9||BELIVEAU||Clinton McDonald||Ms Michelle Payne||1.3L||5||55.5kg||$13.90|
|4||7||PLAYER ONE||Max Cowen||Anthony Darmanin||1.8L||4||55.5kg||$11.10|
|5||12||OERTER||Scott Brunton||Kyle Maskiell (a)||3.1L||14||55.5kg||$30.40|
|6||10||HUGO||Brendan Mcshane||Bulent Muhcu||3.3L||3||55.5kg||$18.70|
|7||15||SETTLER’S STONE||Troy Blacker||Jarrod Todd||3.5L||7||55.5kg||$72.50|
|8||14||MILSON||Julie Richards||Luke Currie||4L||1||55.5kg||$82.50|
|9||13||SMOKE ’N’ WHISKY||John Blacker||Ms Kim Moore||4.3L||9||55.5kg||$44.10|
|10||5||WALES||Richard Laming||Steven King||5.3L||12||55.5kg||$4.30|
|11||11||AVENTADOR||Barry Campbell||Damien Thornton||5.8L||13||55.5kg||$84.10|
|12||4||GEE GEE’S LA QUITA||Stuart Gandy||Ms Georgie Catania||6.8L||6||55.5kg||$60.20|
|13||8||MISTER MONEYPENNY||Glenn Thornton||Boris Thornton (a)||7.1L||10||55.5kg||$76.10|
|FF||3||QUICK STRIKE||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||2||55.5kg||$2.90F|
|–||1||METAPHORICAL||Peter G Moody||Damien Oliver||–||0||–||–|