GOTTINO was the talk of the town after winning the $15,000 Great Western Cup on Australia Day.
The New Zealand-born five-year-old bay, trained by former Murtoa man Ken Moore and ridden by Dean Larsson, narrowly edged out seven-year-old gelding Watto's Racer by less than a quarter of a length in the 1850-metre race at Great Western Racing Club. The $3 favourite, Darren Weir-trained six-year-old gelding Flying Omission, was more than three lengths off the pace in third spot.
It was Gottino's second victory for the month after taking out the $15,000 Burrumbeet Cup on New Years Day. Jockey Larsson had a day to remember, winning the final two races of the day and placing in one other.
Stawell trainers Terry and Karina O'Sullivan's five-year-old bay Dashing Moulah finished last in the main event, but the pair made up for it with a nail-biting victory in race five with Haluva Storm.
Great Western Racing Club president Carl Barry said it was a fantastic day, with near-perfect weather greeting race-goers.
Mr Barry said numbers were slightly up from last year's figures of about 1800.
"It was a great day weather-wise and the attendance was really good," he said.
"Everyone was accountable so there were no hassles."
Off the track, celebrity chef Tobie Puttock was a big hit with his personally-selected Australia Day menu and cooking demonstrations.
Mr Barry said a Fashions on the Field competition also drew large numbers.