Late Runner Loch Eagle Scores Thrilling The Ingham 2023 Win

December 9, 2023

Late Runner Loch Eagle Scores Thrilling The Ingham 2023 Win

The Kris Lees-trained emergency runner, Loch Eagle, made every opportunity of his eleventh-hour call-up in The Ingham 2023 with the galloper given a gun ride by apprentice Dylan Gibbons to take out the $2 million feature in a thrilling finish.

2023 The Ingham winner Loch Eagle

2023 The Ingham winner Loch Eagle was excellent off wide run from an outside alley in the $2 million showdown. Photo: Steve Hart.

Lees’ Newcastle-trained Lonhro five-year-old went around in this year’s Group 2 $2 million The Ingham (1600m) as an $18 outsider but was gutsy late getting the job done in an exciting upset.

“Great thrill. Great to win with Dylan and a really good bunch of owners. At 7.29am he hadn’t gained a start and he was just about to have a gallop. Was going to prepare for a race next Saturday,” Lees told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.

“The phone call came through being third emergency and he had to overcome a wide gate.

“Early in the run I thought he was going to be posted but he got him in three-deep with cover.

“It was a lovely ride, presented him at the right time and was able to get there on the line. It was really pleasing to see.”

Continuing his nice Randwick track record the progressive gelding backed-up from a second at Kemba Grange in the $1 million The Gong (1600m) on November 25 to take out his own lucrative summer showdown.

“He was really good the other day in The Gong. Again from a bad gate he was posted with a similar run but no cover and it took its toll late but it seasoned him for today,” Lees added.

“He’s been a really good horse. He got run down in the Provincial Final earlier in the year. He’s a really good Randwick horse. Really pleasing to see.”

Gibbons timed his run to perfection storming home late to narrowly beat home Sara Ryan’s brave runner-up Attractable ($8.50) who was good again off a Melbourne Cup Day win at the track in the $3 million The Big Dance (1600m).

It was a great ride from out wide in barrier 18 from the young hoop.

“The only concern from out there was if I’d get the cover,” Gibbons said.

“We had a bit of a crack and went forward. Thankfully I was able to jag a spot, three-wide with cover.

“He’s an absolute warrior this horse. He’s slowly progressed through his grades. He’s always had a lot of ability but never had the luck. For him to win today and reward everyone it’s great.

“It’s always great to reward the boss. Just keep reminding him why I’m here. It means a lot.

“He’s looked after me since day one. Along with many others I wouldn’t be here today without blokes like him so to pay him back on a day like today means a lot.”

In third completing The Ingham trifecta still only a half-length off the winner was the John O’Shea-trained Contributor six-year-old Lion’s Roar ($6).

“Terrific run. We had a lot of favours and we travelled well. Tried hard,” jockey Tom Sherry said after his ride on Lion’s Roar.

2023 The Ingham Results & Finishing Order

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 23e LOCH EAGLE Kris Lees Dylan Gibbons (a) 18 53kg $18
2 10 ATTRACTABLE Sara Ryan Regan Bayliss 0.23L 3 56kg $8.50
3 19 LION’S ROAR (NZ) John O’Shea Tom Sherry 0.49L 4 53.5kg $6
4 11 KIRWAN’S LANE (NZ) John O’Shea Joshua Parr 1.31L 2 56kg $31
5 18 WATERFORD (IRE) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 2.5L 11 54kg $16
6 13 HINGED Chris Waller Zac Lloyd (a) 2.57L 6 55kg $13
7 2 DETONATOR JACK (NZ) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Jason Collett 2.58L 12 58kg $5.50F
8 8 RUSTIC STEEL Kris Lees Sam Clipperton 2.93L 1 56.5kg $10
9 7 NO COMPROMISE (NZ) Chris Waller Lee Magorrian 3.72L 17 57kg $61
10 14 CHARTERHOUSE (GB) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Tyler Schiller 4.14L 13 55kg $19
11 17 PHEARSON Brad Widdup Reece Jones 4.64L 10 54kg $31
12 6 OSIPENKO (NZ) Chris Waller Tim Clark 5.24L 20 57.5kg $14
13 3 KING MAGNUS Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock Thomas Stockdale 5.26L 16 58kg $51
14 20 AGE OF KINGS (IRE) Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 5.46L 7 53kg $61
15 12 DARK DESTROYER (NZ) John O’Shea Darragh Keenan 6.61L 9 55.5kg $151
16 1 CEPHEUS (GB) Matthew Dunn Nash Rawiller 6.92L 15 60kg $14
17 16 COMMUNIST Michael Freedman Ms Rachel King 6.97L 8 54.5kg $26
18 5 NEW MANDATE (IRE) Chris Waller Chad Schofield 7.5L 14 57.5kg $151
19 9 SURF DANCER (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Andrew Adkins 9L 19 56.5kg $51
20 4 VILANA James Cummings Adam Hyeronimus 9.12L 5 58kg $21
24e FOXY CLEOPATRA Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 0
22e MILITARY EXPERT Annabel Neasham Reece Jones 0
15 EXCELLENT PROPOSAL Michael Freedman 0
21e WILLIAMSBURG Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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