Albany pair revel in hometown win
Jockey Mitchell Pateman and trainer Darren McAuliffe, both with strong Albany connections, combined to win the 2019 Wellington & Reeves Albany Cup (2100m) in their hometown with rising stayer The Big Show on Sunday afternoon.
Pateman is now based in Perth but lived in Albany for some time and has family here while McAuliffe is also a former Albany resident and went to school locally before becoming one of the State’s top horse trainers in Perth.
The $100,000 feature race had been a target for the pair for some time now and The Big Show delivered both their maiden success in the long-running event.
Pateman wasted heavily to ride at 55.5kg and jump aboard The Big Show, which started $2.40 favourite in the field of 12.
The four-year-old had won three races already this campaign and was tucked away well by Pateman in running before he made a strong move nearing the home corner.
The Big Show levelled up with the leaders in the home straight and hit the front in the final 200m under the urgings of Pateman, going on to edge out He’s A Parker by half a length on the line.
Pateman saluted to his supporters before to the post, a gesture that cost him a $400 fine from stewards, as he claimed his first Albany Cup on a day where he had only two rides.
“I’m still on cloud nine now,” Pateman said yesterday.
“I’ve wanted to win that race since I was a kid, I’ve had a couple of cracks but yesterday was my best chance.
“It was a bit tougher (riding 55.5kg) but I ate a bit healthier and this makes it all worthwhile in the end.
“In the run I thought he’d be a lot closer but we ended up in a good spot and with that weight relief he has a really good turn of foot.”
The Big Show was placed in listed company as a three-year-old and has now more than $200,000 in prize money from 19 career starts.
McAuliffe had filled minor placings in the Albany Cup with Ram Jam (2015) and Impressive Johnson (2007) but was beaming after the son of Frost Giant proved too strong.
“I’ve been chasing this one for a while,” McAuliffe said.
“The best horse won the race, it was run a bit start-stop but once the speed went on it was a genuine staying contest.
“That weight relief was so important.
“The Perth Cup was his goal but this was his logical goal once we didn’t get there and he’ll go for a bit of a break now as he’s been up for a long time.”
He’s A Parker was well supported in betting and came from 10th on the corner to grab second for trainer Hec McLaren while third home was the consistent Prying Tom.
Gauged was the first Albany runner home, crossing the line in eighth place.
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