GLOBAL racing heavyweight owner Sheikh Mohammed put his stamp on the Horsham Cup with horse Cornell taking out the $50,000 race on Sunday.
Trained by Anthony Freedman and ridden by jockey Daniel Moor, the five-year-old chestnut gelding charged home to win by three quarters of a length from the Barry and Glen James-trained Isopatch.
Moor said Cornell produced a great performance when it was needed.
“He’s a very genuine horse and on his day he’s quite classy so it was good to see him get back to form today,” he said.
“We bounced out and travelled in a lovely spot.
“I sort of got going at about the 600 and made them chase us and his class told out in the finish.”
Crowd favourite Texan Warney, trained by Telopea Downs’ Daryl Dodson, was gunning for a fourth consecutive win at the cup but ran a valiant fourth.
Heez Notorious finished third after a challenge of interference from Texan Warney jockey Holly McKechnie was thrown out by stewards.
Pre-race favourite Bec Said No Credit finished five lengths back in seventh place.
Anthony Freedman’s foreman Ash Yargi said the gelding was helped by a gear change with blinkers going on before the race.
“We were confident with the blinkers going on because when the blinkers went on at home his work improved pretty well,” he said.
“We knew he had worn blinkers before but you don’t want to push him too hard with that and pick the right race and today was the right race.”
Yargi said Sheikh Mohammed would be pleased with the result.
Another of the Sheikh’s horses, Proverb, finished second in the Darley Seymour Cup later in the day.
“This day is going to be a big credit for them,” Yargi said.
“They would have loved to win two cups in one day – any cup is a good cup for them and to win both would have been good.”
Horsham and District Racing Club president Karen Thomas said the day had been a great success, with outstanding weather and track conditions.
“It was perfect – we couldn’t ask for better,” she said.
“It was ideal conditions for our track and our curator Geoff Adams has done a fantastic job considering everything we’ve been through in the past six months.”
A race meeting at the course was called off in May because of unsafe track conditions after heavy rain.
Thomas said the unofficial gate number was about 1600 – down from the 1800 who attended last year.
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