Cup win first for leading trainer

STRETCH denied Subic Bay consecutive festive season wins and delivered its trainer and jockey a maiden Maurice Murphy Memorial Wallabadah Cup (1500m) yesterday.

The six-year-old bay or brown gelding’s one length win was Tamworth trainer Lesley Jeffriess’ first win in the cup as it was for jockey Chle Lee.

It was his first time at the annual new years meeting after moving to the area about eight months ago.

He’s apprenticed to Jeffriess. She was at Inverell and didn’t see the race but would have been delighted with Lee’s ride.

He rode him to perfection.

“She basically wanted me to drive forward; sit behind Leon’s (Davies) horse (Subic Bay).”

Davies only took over the training in the last week and the six-year-old was coming off a win at Quirindi on Boxing Day.

Yesterday he led the field past the winning post for the first turn and was about two lengths in front at the top of the hill.

Lee got a nice tail behind him and after closing the gap to about half-a-length coming down the hill manouvered Stretch to the lead just before the bend into the straight.

He finished on strongly for a length win with Zar Express one-and-a-quarter lenghths back in third.

“The horse loves this kind of track,” Lee said.

Jeffriess’ delight was doubled by the fact that she also part owns Stretch.

She’s one of eight owners.

Only two of those made it to Wallabadah yesterday – Norma Jurd and Bruce Potter.

Potter – a former Werris Creek boy – had driven up from Sydney yesterday, and was glad he did.

He got to see his horse win a cup.

He said he’d had horses with Jeffriess for about 20 years but yesterday was his first cup success.

He’d come close a couple of times with Straw Vote, who ran second in the Armidale Cup and third in the Quirindi Cup.

The group have owned Stretch since he was two.

“He’s been running without luck recently,” Potter said.

Yesterday that turned.

“It went exactly to plan,” he said. “Jump out, get him going and get on the rails.”

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