Stawell's Spanish Vixen claims Halls Gap Cup

STAWELL-TRAINED Spanish Vixen took out Tuesday's second annual Grampians Halls Gap Cup at NMIT Ararat Park.

Trained by Paul Jones, the five-year-old mare notched her third consecutive win, after claiming the Great Western Cup and a race at Penola last month.

Spanish Vixen - again ridden by Warrnambool apprentice Lily Coombe - won the 2000-metre $15,000 feature by more than two lengths over Space Diva, trained by Stawell's David Noonan and ridden by Horsham jockey Dean Yendall.

Jones said he was happy with the win and the performance of Coombe.

"It was a bit of a concern being one from the outside, but she ran really well," he said.

"I was very happy with the ride, Lily rode with maturity beyond her years."

Trainers Terry and Karina O'Sullivan wrapped up a Stawell trifecta, with their four-year-old gelding Who Says I'm Ready coming in third, four lengths behind the winner.

The O'Sullivan duo had a win in the day's opening race, the 1600-metre D'Altons Resort Maiden Plate, with gelding Already Taken.

Stawell trainer Doug Whitworth collected third in that race with All For Love.

Yendall also achieved third-placed finishes on two Darren Weir-trained horses - Van Welbilt in race two and Coral Downs in race four. 

Horsham jockey Holly McKechnie and trainer Mick Clark combined for a third-placed finish in race three with Let's Be Famous.

The rescheduled meet was moved to NMIT Ararat Park from Stawell Racecourse last week due to the state of the Stawell track.

The meeting honoured emergency services people for their efforts during last month's bushfires.

Halls Gap Tourism chairman Geoff Watts said the day was a success despite many emergency service workers having to travel to the Gippsland fires.

"We had a great time and we've raised about $3500 for fire relief," he said.

"The atmosphere was really good.

"Don Murphy from Stawell did a magnificent job getting us organised we've got everything here and it's absolutely fantastic."

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