YO COOL MAXIE screamed out of box three and never looked like getting caught as he took the Armidale Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The Barry and Roz Evans-trained dog ran a second last week in the heats but came back with a vengeance today to stamp his class on the race.
“What a run, he is a brilliant old dog,” Roz said.
The champion had the cup wrapped up in the first 100m of the 520m classic winning in a time of 30.12 seconds. A time that was even more impressive on a slightly damp track with a strong headwind down the home straight.
The two favourites, Cauthen out of box one and Easy Drinking out of box five didn’t miss the start but were left behind to battle the pack.
Mervyn Pratt’s Rose Radiant also jumped beautifully with the winner, but started losing ground in the third quarter
Down the back straight the Scooby Six syndicate blue dog had seven lengths on second place and stuck to the rail for his 26th career win.
The favourites were pulling him back in down the home straight but the race was all his beating Easy Drinking by almost two lengths in second, with Cauthan another one and half behind him.
“I knew we needed to shave another couple of tenths this week and he stood up well,” Roz said.
“We stepped up the physical training, watched what he ate and didn’t leave anything to chance.”
Yo Cool Maxie broke the track record in Armidale three weeks before the race, one month after setting the track record in Gunnedah.
“He has always been a sound dog and the whole litter are brilliant out of the box,” Roz said.
Between him and his five brothers, they have won over 20 Wentworth Park races and close to $200 000 in prizemoney.
This win brought Yo Cool Maxie’s career earnings to over $50 000, and he has featured in and won several big races at city tracks over the past few years.
In 89 starts he has had 26 wins and placed on 26 other occasions.
The Evans are not sure where they will race him next, as the dog they lovingly refer to as ‘ Scoobs’ nears retirement and a place at the back door of their Moonbi house.
“We will see how he pulls up after this and play it by ear.
“He is just a lovely dog and he just loves to race.
“He really stood up today and we are proud of him.”
The Evan’s are considering a trip to Gunnedah on Thursday with Yo Cool Maxie to test out the first meet on the new sand surface.
The trainers have scaled their operation back a bit recently and only have the champion and two young dogs in their kennels.
“The other dogs are too young to race yet and don’t even have names, but look very promising,” Roz said.
Armidale’s Cup day brought in a good crowd who witnessed some other great runs as well.
Lunatic Bob had a great run to beat El Lethal down the back straight in the McDonalds 365m sprint, before Barry Hobson’s Chanson made it six in row in the Mitchell Family Sprint.