BRAVE Ali’s brilliant Quirindi Cup win helped “lift the roof” on the St Kilda Hotel in Armidale on Friday but the seven-year-old gelding won’t be at Armidale this Sunday where he lifted the Guyra Cup last November.
Last year’s original Guyra Cup meeting was washed out and Armidale Jockey Club was lucky enough to have the race re-scheduled in November when it was run over the Armidale Cup distance of 1900m.
Brave Ali won it that day, with most of his large number of owners in attendance.
The 2014 Guyra Cup (1400m) will be run this Sunday, reverting to its normal time and distance as a major lead-in to the 1900m Armidale Cup (Monday, March 17).
The seven-year-old son of O’Reilly had won the Black Nugget Cup (at Mudgee) before November’s Guyra Cup win and then returned to Mudgee where he ran second to Ward in the 1600m Mudgee Cup.
Kody Nestor rode him when he had no luck in running in the recent Walcha Cup.
He finished just over four lengths astern of stablemate Jefferson Park at Walcha but his luck turned at Quirindi on Friday where he beat Al’s Gold by a half length.
None of the Armidale owners could make Quirindi but they could make the St Kilda Hotel in Armidale.
St Kilda licensee Harley Payne just happens to be one of the Brave Ali syndicate.
He also has a share in Monton, who won the Cyren Resturant & Bar B95 Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Payne was at Randwick to help trainer Ron Quinton celebrate his 66th birthday in style.
The former champion jockey elected to run Monton in the B95 rather than the 1400m Apollo Stakes.
“I thought he got in this race OK. He got 63 (kg) but, with the allowance for Sam Clipperton, I thought with 61.5 he could win,” Quinton said.
Clipperton timed his run on Monton who produced his sprint in the final 200m to stride clear and beat Lunayir ($13) by two lengths.
It was a satisfying win for Quinton, who now has an OAM to his name.
“It’s a pretty good way to celebrate a birthday even though I stopped counting them at 40,” he said.
Just one more celebration for the boys at the St Kilda Hotel.
It had been rocking on Friday afternoon, Armidale Jockey Club secretary Jim Dedes reported.
“Yeah we lifted the roof off the pub after Brave Ali’s win,” Dedes laughed on Saturday morning.
“It was just a magic ride by Kody.
“He came out of barrier 10 and within 100m he was on the rails.
“Then he just got a beautiful run. Very good.
“I hope Monton can get up for Harley now.”
Monton did, which leaves Brave Ali to round up a good run for the owners by winning the Monday, March 17 Armidale Cup.
“He ran fourth in the Cup last year after getting beaten a nose in the Walcha Cup,” he recalled.
“He’s even better this time. And what a run Craig is having. Not only did he win the Walcha Cup with Jefferson Park but he had two other winners on the day as well.
“And now the Quirindi Cup too. He’s only got a few in work but does such a great job with them.”
Nominations for this Sunday’s Guyra Cup meeting at Armidale close at 11am tomorrow.