HAIL the Bushland Drive Racecourse Taree "Cups King"- eight-year-old local gelding Island Dane in registering his fifth such feat in the Wingham Beef Exports Cup (1412m) at Taree Wingham Race Club's TAB meeting before a big holiday crowd.
Previously the Nick Chambers trained-Moira Munro owned galloper had won the Taree, Wingham and two Krambach Cups to go alongside the gelding's latest trophy.
Island Dane's (13-4) last win was in the Krambach Cup on October 19, 2012 and it has taken all the intervening time to see its weight drop to a competitive level and have the gelding ready to race again.
Usually known as a wet tracker, Chambers knew something was wrong with Island Dane's galloping action to call in help to see what was wrong after running good races and not winning on good tracks.
"It has taken a chiropractor several months to straighten him out," the trainer said.
"Then last Saturday Island Dane worked the house down and even when he was headed in the straight, I knew he would come again over the distance.
"If it was a mile, I wouldn't have declared him to win."
Broadmeadow jockey Alison Threadwell, who has been united with Island Dane in most of its wins, said: "He is a good old horse and this was probably his race today."
To which Munro added: "She knows the horse inside and out."
Island Dane led most of the way from the disappointing last start big winner Lotsa Lobban (tired to fourth whereas at its previous start it came from back in the field to bolt in) and staved off by a length Port Macquarie professional placegetter Overshadows (5-2), trained by Tas Morton, with Taree gelding Count The Chimes (5-1),trained by Ross Stitt,being a head away in a cheeky return from a spell.
Race club president Greg Coleman said the win of Island Dane was a "great effort" in the first running of the Wingham Beef Exports Cup.
A couple of handy performances were registered by Port four-year-old gelding Rock 'N' Rich, trained by Neil Godbolt and ridden by Grant Buckley in the Mid Coast Bearings Handicap over 1007m and three-year-old filly Who Is Game (13-4), trained at Wauchope by Grant Prosser and ridden by Wauchope jockey Belinda Hodder, in the Cryovac Australia-Sealed Air 3YO Maiden Handicap over 1260m.
Godbolt said Rock 'N' Rich "found the lead and had easy sectionals," but by its performance he reckons he has worked out the gelding, from the great Sydney winner Rich Megadale and the galloper could be in for a good campaign.
In the same race stewards inquired into 6-4 favourite Melbourne Billy, ridden by four kilo claiming apprentice Andrew Adkins for Broadmeadow trainer Anthony Honess, missing the start before winding up fourth.
Honess had better fortune with four-year-old gelding Demoralising (firmed from around $16 to about $6 on the TAB), ridden by Nicholas Perrett, it scoring by five length in the Macleay Valley Transport Maiden Plate over 1412m.
Who Is Game was always handy and won by nearly two lengths,much to the satisfaction of a group of owners from Harrington, headed by Gordon Field who bred the filly from his mare Evaandeva which won three or four races and was placed in Sydney.
It was only her fourth start and made up for an unlucky run at its previous start at Taree when third.
Another consistent galloper, four-year-old Port gelding Cracker Night, was backed from 11-4 to evens with bookmakers and the Marc Quinn-trained galloper, ridden by Taree apprentice jockey Daniel Holten, made up for three recent placings with a just under a length win in the Wayne Richardson Sales Country Class 1 Plate over 1614m.