TOMPEPPA chases a third successive Wallabadah Cup today.
The nine-year-old gelding, winner of six of his 53 starts, has a perfect record at Wallabadah winning his only two starts there with successes in the 2011 and 2012 Wallabadah Cups.
And with just 54kg the son of Canny Lad is weighted ideally to become the first horse to win three in a row.
The Mack Griffith-trained King Castle won back-to-back Cups in 1992-93 and then Paul St Vincent’s Stan The Man emulated that in 1998-99 while Steve Miller’s Adhemar won 2004 and 2006 Wallabadah Cups for his Tamworth trainer.
Miller also won the 2005 Wallabadah Cup with Dinamira in an amazing run where he trained five winners in eight years.
It started in 2002 when Dolphin Reward equalled the track record set by No Villain the year before (1min 31.14secs) and continued with Adhemar for his two Cup wins around Dinamira’s 2005 Cup win and finishing with River Press (2009).
The Cup meeting was also washed out twice (2003 and 2007) in that time with Lower Belford’s Todd Howlett winning the 2008 feature with Maharani Marscay.
“It would be a nice thing,” Tony McGrath said of a third Cup win.
“Just goes to show you don’t have to be a champion as long as you can handle the track. He might not be the best horse in the race but he sure can run down that hill.”
So too can Muswellbrook jockey Daniel Northey.
He’s partnered Tompeppa for both his Cup wins. He was an apprentice in those two victories and jumps aboard today as a fully fledged senior jockey.
“Daniel has done a great job with him,” McGrath said.
“He rides all our horses when he can. He knows the old horse too.”
Northey’s ability to ride his horse out down and around the Wallabadah hill has been a major factor in the two wins.
Tompeppa’s zest for racing too is a major asset.
“He was retired,” McGrath said.
“But while we were working the other horses he was out in the paddock running about being a pain in the backside. So I thought we’d give it another crack. This will be his last crack though. Gee, he has given us some good