Perth-based Stafford’s Lad salutes in front of bumper Kimberley Cup crowd
It’s the lead up race to the Broome Cup which always draws a big crowd and a field of good middle distance runners, and Saturday at the Broome Turf Club was no exception.
The crowd came early and rose to more than 4000 during the afternoon, while the seven-event program produced several winning favourites and some exciting finishes.
The Kimberley Cup was run for the first time in 1997, and a horse called True Russian won it for the first three years, but since then honours have been evenly shared.
This year Stafford’s Lad added its name to the list.
The Perth-based gelding which has never drawn a decent barrier, again drew wide.
After a slow start, jockey Bonnie Palise was content to sit at the rear of the field, until the 800 metre mark where she began a forward move.
Once in the home straight, the rest of the field was gathered in, and the winning margin was almost four lengths.
It was a great result for the Morton stable, which also had success in an earlier race when Watch Me Ney Ney won in similar fashion coming home from a rearward position.
The first three races on the program produced winning horses which led all the way.
Muchea trainer Carey Martin won the Maiden race with Santander and the third with Yourtheoneforme.
Race two saw Perth galloper Warfish salute the judge and give Bonnie Palise the first leg of her winning double.
Punters were prepared to take the short odds about Desert Thorn in race five.
The Jim Enright-trained galloper was going for its fourth win of the season and with three kilo-claiming apprentice Austin Gelati, this allowed the horse to run with only 55.5kg on its back.
By bursting through the pack in the straight and winning by almost a length, the gelding now has a great chance of becoming horse of the year for the season.
The meeting closed with the Bruce Kay-trained Bulletson, always a firm favourite in the ring, giving its backers a happy ending to a great day racing.
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