EMOTIONAL Outburst made it back-to-back 1400m Barraba & District Cattle Breeders’ Barraba Cups on Saturday to give Tamworth trainer Mark Mason his third hometown cup win in less than a decade.
Mason, born and bred in Barraba, always had his hometown cup at the top of his bucket list and, despite having a runner just about every year since he first began training in the early 1980s, the goal proved elusive until Night Call scored a breakthrough win in 2004.
Emotional Outburst, owned by the trainer’s father Guy and daughter Aimee, won last year’s edition by a widening eight lengths when Melissa Brown had the gelding nice and handy however Saturday’s win was in complete contrast when Leanne Henry parked the eight-year-old toward the back of the field before making a run at the top of the short Barraba straight.
“They ran along pretty well early and he got back to second last,” Mason said.
“It was a little bit earlier in his preparation when he won last year – he was a bit fresher and he raced a bit closer.
“This time he was a bit dour and came from behind,” he said.
Emotional Outburst, a well-tried 11-8 favourite, was hauled into the race by eventual runner-up Prior Baron (13-4) before scoring by a half-length from Rod Northam’s game 10-year-old.
Peter Sinclair’s seven-year-old Tara Brave (7-1), still eligible for class 2 company, ran a huge race to finish three-parts of a length away third.
Mason said he was always mindful of the advice given many years ago by former champion hoop Danny Frahm, who knows every square inch of the tricky Barraba circuit.
“Frahmy used to always say that you couldn’t ride a horse out up the hill at Barraba, so Leanne just sat on him and started to work him in to the race from the half-mile,” Mason said.
“He got on the back of Prior Baron and got a nice cart in to the race. Leanne rode him well and she didn’t panic, even though he got back a bit.”
Henry said Emotional Outburst was tardy from the barriers but worked into the race nicely from the 600m.
“He was a bit slow from the gates and, when that happened, I had to give him a chance to find his feet,” Henry said.
“They were running along pretty fast up front and the horses that were up there weren’t much chop – they were always going to stop.
“They ran along pretty quick and from the 600m he picked up the bit and started travelling really well.
“I was getting a really nice run through the field and when I peeled off Prior Baron’s back he finished the race off really good – and we got the money,” she said.
Mason has no immediate plans for Emotional Outburst however he could follow the same path as last year and tackle next month’s 1600m Coonamble Cup – if the handicapper is kind.
“He really wants further – he’s a 2000m horse but you just can’t find the right races for him in the bush and he’s been around that 70-benchmark ever since I’ve had him,” Mason said.
“We’ll have a look and see what’s about.
“After he won at Barraba last year we took him out to Coonamble.
“We’ll just poke along and see what happens but we’ll probably look at that race again,” he said.