I WANNA Be A Jeep spreadeagled his opposition and cantered to victory in Friday’s $35,000 Elders Walcha Cup (1440m).
The Jenny Graham-trained gelding son of Congrats battled a strong headwind in the back straight, as well as the attention of last year’s Cup winner Try ‘N’ Run A Muck, before surging clear up the hill and winning.
Ben Looker rode the five-year-old, as Blinkin Artie drove late to finish within two-and-half lengths of him – while topweight Glitra was three lengths away in third place.
[He] went real good.Ben Looker
Graham and Looker celebrated their first Walcha Cup success.
“[He] went real good,” Looker said of I Wanna Be A Jeep.
“We always came here with the impression of making Try ‘N’ Run A Muck do a bit of work.
“He [Try ‘N’ Run A Muck] had a pretty easy time winning the Inverell and Glen Innes Cups.”
Looker said I Wanna Be A Jeep’s racing pattern, racing on the speed, was ideally suited to the mission of making Try ‘N’ Run A Muck work hard, as well as to the Walcha track.
“Jenny’s done a great job with him too,” he said of the Port Macquarie trainer, who has now won five races in 23 starts with the gelding.
While this is Graham’s first Walcha Cup winner, it is not her first winner at Walcha.
“It’s [the track] been pretty good to me,” she said.
“[I’ve] had some good winners here.”
She said I Wanna Be A Jeep is a “speed’ horse able to run up on the pace, or just behind it.
“We’ve tried to hold him up but he races better when he’s allowed to run,” she said.
She had taken the horse to Brisbane with some of her other stable stars, such as Country Championship-bound Awesome Pluck, but he hadn’t fared as well as some of her other winners.
She will continue to race him over 1300m to 1500m, which she said is his “happy medium”.
Just where he races next, she isn’t sure.
“We’ll see how he pulls up,” she said.