Article & picture by Alexander Grant
When trackside it doesn’t get much more exciting than watching your horse win in a last-to-first run, but it becomes extra special when it’s the feature race.
That’s how the $50,000 Bathurst Cup (1800m) unfolded for trainer Rob Potter and his runner Murraguldrie on Friday at Tyers Park. Three separate leg injuries hasn’t stopped Murraguldrie from producing winning performances throughout his career, and Friday’s effort will go down as one of his most memorable runs for the courageous gelding.
Murraguldrie ($3 equal favourite) swung into the home turn last of the field’s eight runners and still had plenty of work to do if he was to catch leader Red Dubawi ($3 equal fav).
A line of three horses – Mar Nero, Uncle Sugar and Something Borrowed – were right on Red Dubawi’s tail and all looked like winning chances with 200m still to race. However, all eyes quickly turned to Murraguldrie on the extreme outside who was finishing with a head full of steam.
Murraguldrie raced by to win by 0.8 lengths over his fellow equal favourite, coming home in a time of one minute and 51.3 seconds. A further length away Uncle Sugar ($6.50) won the photo finish for third ahead of Something Borrowed ($15).
Winning trainer Potter, of Capricorn Park, had confidence his seven-year-old gelding could get the job done in the hands of Mathew Cahill
“I left it up to Mathew how to ride him and I thought we might have to go forward. We thought he had a bit of class on the others though so that’s why I left it up to him and he said to us after the race that the tempo was perfect,” he said.
“When he was tacking up to them at the 500m mark I knew he was going to finish it off well. He has a great turn of foot when racing over a bit of ground. He’s going very well at the moment and he’s a very good horse.
"We’ve taken our time to get to the Canberra Cup. You can never be too confident but it worked out well for us today. His goal is still the Canberra Cup and he’s really on track. We don’t overdo him.
“He’s been enormous lately. Last start he got back on us and charged home. He probably should have won but it just got away from him. His form right now is outstanding.”
It’s the second win this preparation for Murraguldrie after success in December at Warwick Farm. His only start since then was a third place at Canterbury.
Friday’s win at Bathurst takes Murraguldrie’s record to eight wins from 29 starts and brings him close to $200,000 in career prizemoney. Bathurst had a contender in the race with Paul Theobald’s Tiger’s Story ($71), who battled gamely against his more fancied rivals to finish in seventh place.