SIX-YEAR-OLD Avroson had, as jockey Travis Wolfgram put it, “a damn good kick” when straightening in Monday’s rescheduled Hopefuel Gunnedah Cup and it’s just as well as the gelding just clung on.
Avroson pinched the lead from Cocktail Time as the horses came round the home turn in the 1600-metre race as the Brett Cavanough-trained horse kicked.
However, Mishani Stealth, with Josh Adams on board, kicked alongside Avroson.
It became a grinding duel down the straight and to the naked eye, it was anyone’s guess who had done enough in the $30,000 race.
“It was a bit of a muddley run race, it was very slow, the horse tends to get back in his races and attack the line but because they went slow today, from a good draw I was able to have him up nice and handy,” Wolfgram said of the race.
“When we straightened, he had a pretty damn good kick but he was going to be vulnerable late being left in front so long.
“When Josh come at me down the outside, he headed me and put a good head, half a neck on me but to my horse’s credit, he dug deep and knew where the line was.”
The official margins had Avroson 0.07 lengths in front of Mishani Stealth with race favourite Present Sense a further length and a half back in third.
The tight win was a breakthrough one for Wolfgram on a day where he finished out of the placings with his other four rides at a track where he’d only managed the sole win prior to the Gunnedah Cup meeting.
It was also his first time racing on Avroson.
“One ride, one win, so we’ll keep it going,” he said.
“I’ve been here a few times, not a lot of luck, I think I’ve only ridden one winner here so it’s pretty good to walk away with the cup.”
The victory saw Wolfgram claim his second country cup in as many days.
On Sunday, Wolfgram led Pirate Ben to a win by two lengths in the Taree Cup.
Adams also finished runner-up to Wolfgram in that race on Egyptian Ruler.
While Adams missed out in the two big races, he got the better of Wolfgram and the other jockeys overall in Gunnedah with three wins from four starts for the day.