Big Duke Wins NE Manion Cup on Protest

March 18, 2017

Big Duke Wins NE Manion Cup on Protest

Big Duke has successfully won a protest to be crowned the 2017 NE Manion Cup winner at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.

Big Duke (outside) beat Our Century in a protest to win the NE Manion Cup this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Big Duke (outside) beat Our Century in a protest to win the NE Manion Cup this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

The Macedon Lodge-saddled Our Century was first past the post in the NE Manion Cup, however stewards found that the horse had shifted our and into Big Duke’s racing line in the final straight and inhibited his chances of winning.

Our Century carried winning form into the NE Manion Cup and did his chances of repeating the effort no harm when he jumped well and took an ideal position on the heels of Café Society and Shalmaneser past the post the first time.

Settling into a good rhythm across the back straight, jockey Ben Melham elected to pull the Montjeu gelding off the fence rounding onto the final straight before locking in a fierce sprint battle with the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke.

The talented stayers gapped their rivals in the dying stages of the race, but it was the talented Macedon Lodge runner who was first past the post by a nose.

Prominent owner of Our Century Nick Williams was on hand for the race and believed that it was simply a case of two tired horses trading blows to the finish line.

“On this wet ground, the horses were slugging it out to the line and they both did a great job,” Williams said after the race.

“He’s a good horse, obviously he likes it on top of the ground a bit more than we he got today, but he’s doing a great job and is heading in the right direction.

Williams said that Our Century’s next point of call will be decided after he has pulled up from his run in the NE Manion Cup.

“We’ll just have to have a think about it, but there might be a better race for him than the Sydney Cup. It might be in about six months,” Williams said.

“What really worries me about this is that this will take a hell of a lot out of him on this heavy ground and we’ll just have to see how he pulls up.

“We might go on from there or we wrap him in some cotton wool and get him ready for the spring.”

In being crowned the 2017 NE Manion Cup winner, Big Duke added a second black type win in as many starts to his resume, having comfortably won the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) at his prior appearance.

Godolphin runner Allergic ran on well for the second time in as many weeks to finish third in the NE Manion Cup.

Punters who backed Big Duke and Our Century to win the NE Manion Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au have all been paid out!

2017 NE Manion Cup Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 3 BIG DUKE (IRE) Darren Weir Craig Williams 6 54kg $4
2 4 OUR CENTURY (IRE) Robert Hickmott Ben Melham 0.1L 2 54kg $3.10F
3 1 ALLERGIC John O’Shea William Buick 12.6L 7 58kg $4.60
4 2 KINEMA (IRE) Chris Waller Ryan Moore 15.3L 1 56.5kg $7
5 6 SHALMANESER Jason Attard Tommy Berry 20.1L 3 54kg $21
6 5 CAFE SOCIETY (FR) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 21L 5 54kg $9.50
7 7 PARAGON John Sargent Regan Bayliss 33.3L 4 54kg $51

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