The old saying .. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do … must’ve been the motive behind five-year-old mare STOCK UP ’s performance in the 2020 version of the Mudgee Race Club’s Gooree Cup after her stablemate Concessions had previously won the Armidale Cup almost three months earlier.
On an overcast day, the track looked a treat and rated a Good 4. However there was definitely a chill in the air, possibly classed as a “tad nippy”. The running rail was set in the True position and field sizes were good with punters having the opportunity of having an each-way bet in every race.
STOCK UP had been given the task of carrying 55.5kgs in the event and drawn the outside barrier in a field of 12 runners. Scone-based Billy Cray had been given the mount also Scott had officially advised the Stewards of a tactical change which would see Billy, from the wide barrier, ride his horse conservatively with cover … which is how it panned out. The “Gear Tinkerer” (Scott) had registered a change to his mare’s gear, a tongue tie in readiness for her race today.
The 1400 metres start at Mudgee affords runners a nice long straight run of 400 metres prior to encountering the first bend. When the barriers sprung open, Billy and STOCK UP jumped on level terms. As per the plan, the jockey then grabbed hold and began to ease his horse looking to get in closer to the rail.
Another 200 metres into the race, STOCK UP was at the rear of the field with one horse, Lifetime Quest, on her inside. Billy had settled his horse well and the pair were going comfortably, minding their own business out the back some 6 lengths off the pacemakers.
With around 1000 metres still to run, STOCK UP was now nine to ten lengths off the lead, which had been taken up by the bold-running favourite Herzegovina ($3.50). Position-wise nothing much changed for the next 400 metres. Shortly afterwards things began to unfold.
The pace began to quicken, jockey Cray asked his horse to do the same, they were gradually narrowing the margin to the leader, Herzegovina. Prior to entering the home straight the rider started an outward move on STOCK UP.
On past the 400 metres marker and well into the home straight, Billy had STOCK UP in an ideal position, five horses off the fence with clear galloping room and an uninterrupted run to the finish line.
Go forward 100 metres and the jockey was urging his horse along and STOCK UP was responding in kind to his efforts. The pair now had only two horses in front of them, the leader, Herzegovina which was kicking strongly and Oakfield Captain trained by Damien Lane at Wyong.
Billy was still riding hands and heels it was only with 150 metres to go he gave STOCK UP a couple of slaps of his whip just to keep their momentum going and her mind on the job. Passing Oakfield Captain it was time to put away the front runner and the mare did it comfortably.
Full of running, STOCK UP drew level with Herzegovina 50 metres out and was pulling away as they went past the winning post. The winning margin was near enough to 3/4 length with a length and a quarter to Oakfield Captain in third. The time for the race, 1:24.10.
Congratulations to all of the owners, Mr A & Mrs K Hale, G J , B C & D B Hill, G J MacDonald, Wingnut Sports Syndicates and trainer Scott.
Special mentions should go to Scott for knowing his horse so well and his training prowess in getting STOCK UP to win second up in a noted Benchmark 83 rated race and to her jockey Billy Cray for producing an excellent ride while putting the plan in place to perfection … Well Done both of you !