By Mark Brassel
A massive crowd witnessed today’s inaugural $1.3 million The Kosciuszko (1200m) at Royal Randwick won in emphatic fashion by Belflyer.
The Grafton-trained galloper had a large throng of supporters that embraced wildly following the horse’s victory, with one revealing he had secured $91 on the TAB in early markets.
“The Kosciuszko is the richest race in the world solely for country-trained horses and showcases the best New South Wales gallopers from outside the metropolitan area,” said Racing NSW Chief Executive, Peter V’landys AM.
“From the moment we announced the creation of The Kosciuszko, our country participants threw their support behind the concept and the race will only grow and flourish.”
The lucky slot holders were Thad King, Richie Butterworth and Nathan Lavers: “We went looking for a horse that comes from near home and Belflyer was it,” said Mr King.
“John Shelton [trainer] is a legend; we’re so pumped. The Kosciuszko is an absolutely great concept by Racing NSW and is a winner for the country.”
Winning jockey Adam Hyeronimus was ecstatic: “John was so confident of winning the race and had the horse set for it from the moment The Kosciuszko was announced.
“I was apprenticed to John and we speak each day – this is the biggest thrill I’ll ever have in racing!”