DARKNESS won Saturday’s $6000 Mendooran Cup (1500m) to gave Gunnedah trainer Gavin Groth the third leg of a weekend sporting treble.
The five-year-old gelding, a 4-1 third favourite and ridden by Daniel Northey, beat stablemate Lucky Hand (8-1) by a half length in the feature race with Moree gelding Dandy Kat (14-1) another half length away third.
It was the son of Half Hennessy’s fourth win in 23 starts.
“I was pretty confident he could win that race,” Groth said.
“He had trained on well from his last start when he was second at Gilgandra.
“The turnaround in weight was the big thing.
“He dropped from 60.0kg out at Gil to a half over the minimum (54.5kg) at Mendooran.
“He also drew the one whereas he jumped from 13 at Gil.
Groth was celebrating more than just a good win and a Cup quinella.
“I’ve had a good day,” he said from Kandos.
“My Roosters won the minor premiership last night and my son-in-law won his football grand final here today.
“I got the treble.”
Groth’s daughter is married to Brian Jenkins, the fullback for Kandos in the Group 11 Second Division.
“They beat the uni side from Bathurst here today,” Groth said. “Brian scored a pork pie too.
“They went through undefeated as well.”
While Groth was at Kandos watching his son-in-law win his rugby league premiership, the trainer has a busy week ahead.
“I’ve got four in at Armidale next Saturday,” he said.
“Two of them went around in the long race last week (Baabulu and Timetable). They ran second and third last week –hopefully they might go one, two this week.
“I’ve also got a couple in at Dubbo on Sunday at the Dubbo Cup meeting.
“It’s going to be a busy weekend.”