Veteran stayer Rhino Buster ends long winning drought after prevailing in close finish to Kojonup Cup

Taj Stubber Great Southern Herald
Winning jockey James Dear after winning with Rhino Buster.
Camera IconWinning jockey James Dear after winning with Rhino Buster. Credit: Craig Morrison

Consistent stayer Rhino Buster won the 2022 Kojonup Cup (1770m) in thrilling fashion as part of the popular Wandecla Picnic Races last Saturday.

Nearly 1000 people turned out to the country venue for the entertaining day trackside, hosted by Kojonup Polo and Polocrosse Club.

The nine-year-old gelding dropped back from a Belmont metro race and won the $7500 country cup feature for trainer Darryn Pateman and jockey James Dear.

Starting an equal $2 favourite in the four-horse field, Rhino Buster settled at the rear in the early part of running before improving its position with a 1000m left to run.

Rhino Buster continued to edge closer to the leader Power And Passion approaching the home turn and levelled up at the 150m mark, kicking clear to win by about a length.

It was Rhino Buster’s first win in 1113 days.

Power And Passion was second in the cup while Fashion Forward was third, more than 25 lengths behind the pair. Slash It finished last.

Dear finished with a treble on the six-race program after guiding the Ray Malpass-trained Prince Saiyan to victory in race two and then the Kieran McDonagh-trained Freedomofthepress to win race three.

Trainer Dennis Couper and rider Tamara Playle combined to notch winning doubles, bookending the program with Old Town Predator winning the first race and Woodbug taking out the final event.

The Paul Tapper-trained Nodustonme won race four with Nicky Jordan in the saddle.

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