Paddy Cunningham missed out on back-to-back Armidale Cups with last year’s winner Carry On Jake finishing fourth in a tough field but the Glen Innes trainer didn’t return home empty handed.
Saint Element nabbed a win in the Class 1 Maiden Handicap (1900m) while Carry On Ringo delivered in the Benchmark 55 (1100m), both with Allan Chau aboard.
“She was very unlucky the start before but he [Chau] probably got going on her a bit earlier than we expected but it was the right move,” Cunningham said of Saint Element’s win.
“She got going early, straightened up in front and held them off real well.”
The four-year-old mare’s win over the 1900m was the second of her career and Cunningham said she could be a contender for next year’s Armidale Cup.
“She will probably like it even a bit further later on. I think the owners would like to be back there next year again in the Cup I would say,” he said.
Carry On Ringo’s win was her second victory from three starts and Cunningham believes it could be the start of a promising career.
“She is a very good filly - she won the Walcha Maiden and came from a fair way back and sort of did the same thing [on Sunday],” he said.
“I might take her to Brisbane and see how she goes in the three-year-old races just to see where she stands up against them.”
Cunningham said Carry On Jake was unlucky in the Cup.
“He got caught behind horses at the wrong time because he is the sort of horse that has to be out and around up, the luck just didn't go his way,” he said.