BOUZY Rouge continued the stellar seasons for Greg Ryan and Luke Griffith when the six-year-old bay mare finished too powerfully for Emotional Outburst to win yesterday’s $40,000 Coona Bowlo Coonabarabran Cup (1600m).
Ryan had won the Country Jockey of the Year and Griffith the training equivalent at the recent NSW Country Racing Awards in Sydney.
Griffith also won his second HNWRA trainers’ premiership in the season just gone as well and currently sits in equal third on that premiership ladder.
He also celebrated a double after In Top Gear had won the $20,000 NECU & Ausure Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) earlier in the day.
Ryan had also combined with him to win that as well as riding a winner earlier in the day to make it a treble.
“It’s been a great day,” Griffith said.
“We came over Sunday and went to the Calcutta. The club over here goes out of its way to look after you.”
He reciprocated by having Bouzy Rouge at her best on a perfect track to win his first Coona Cup.
“I’ve run second here a couple of times,” he said.
“But I’ve got to give the club credit – they have spent money on the cup and the track.
“And G. Ryan was at his best again.”
He said Bouzy Rouge could head to a Muswellbrook Cup but he won’t make a decision “until the dust settles”.
Today Ryan chases a South Muswellbrook Cup with the John Ramsey-trained Kukla in a cup where “the old firm” – Maroney Avenue and Robert Thompson – reunite in a bid to win the $20,000 Tooheys New feature.
And if Maroney Avenue races as well as his trainer Allan Boyle hopes, it will be on to the $65,000 Mount Arthur Coal Muswellbrook Cup (1500m) on Melbourne Cup day.
Thompson and Maroney Avenue developed a record of six wins from the horse’s first six starts when he was trained by Rod Northam.
Later, the Muswellbrook- based Boyle, a part owner of the horse, took over the preparation of the now six-year-old and, at his fourth start for him, the horse was a touch unlucky when a close second to Universal Belief in the Denman Cup.
Ryan rode the horse that day but Boyle decided the key might be to get Thompson back aboard.
“I was more than happy with the way Greg rode the horse and if Robert had not been available then Greg would have ridden him again,” Boyle said.
“I just thought that Robert knows the horse so well and they did have such a good combination early on, it is worth seeing if that chemistry was still there.”
Maroney Avenue has never won beyond 1200 metres but Boyle is not fazed.
“Robert has told us before that the horse will get 1600 metres and now that he is stronger and more mature I believe he will,” Boyle said.
“If he wins or runs out a strong 1450 metres tomorrow he will definitely go on to the Muswellbrook Cup,” Boyle said.