Hall’s fourth cup as Push To Pass scores biggest win
Cups king Peter Hall has yet again claimed success in the Great Southern’s biggest staying race after powering to victory in the 2018 Wellington & Reeves Albany Cup (2070m) with versatile galloper Push To Pass on Sunday afternoon.
A highly sought-after distance jockey, Hall was at his brilliant best in the Albany Cup yet again as Push To Pass settled fourth one off the fence in running before making his move as the field of 11 turned for home.
Push To Pass ($6.60 tote chance) was sent around the leaders nearing the home corner and quickly burst to the front, where he found plenty late for Hall to win the cup by 1 ½ lengths on the line.
Cougar Nights ($8.40) flashed home on the rail to grab second ahead of Mr Pago ($12.60) while $4.20 favourite Scooner, who won the Esperance Cup, finished sixth beaten seven lengths.
Hall last tasted success in the race with Double Barrel back in 2011 and his other victories were on Impact Rating (2008) and Try A Tune (2007).
It was the biggest win for Push To Pass in 61 career starts and the first Albany Cup for Lancelin trainer Ashley Maley, who returned to his former hometown.
“We weren’t really sure what his pet distance was because he is such a versatile horse,” Maley said.
“He has won from 1300m to 2100m and in the latter years has showed he can stay.
“We bought the horse when he was six months old, so this is a great result for us and is definitely his biggest win.
“I used to live there years ago, so it’s great to come back.
“He will go on to the Geraldton Cup in a couple of weeks — we always had a plan to do the Esperance, Albany and then Geraldton cups.”
Maley praised the tactics of Hall in the feature race — to always keep the seven-year-old out of trouble.
“The race was run pretty much exactly how we thought it would,” he said.
“He rode it to a tee.
“You are always a bit nervous in these big races but at no stage he was in a spot where he was in trouble.”
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