A POTENTIAL start in the $300,000 Ballarat Cup is on the cards for Dodging Bullets following the Symon Wilde-trained stayers win in Wednesday’s Kyneton Cup (2000m).
The six-year-old gelding overhauled a gallant Darren Weir-trained Moonovermanhattan in the shadows of the post to give Wylde his first win in the $100,000 feature race.
Dodging Bullets ($2.80) started favourite in the race and benefited from a patient ride from Daniel Moor to win his fifth career race from 22 starts, much to the delight of his trainer.
“The hard track and with them slowing the pace mid-race I don't think it suited him but he was too good on the day," Wilde said.
"He is in a rare patch of form, he is a really good horse, he is as tough as they come and he is building a really good record.
"Maybe a race like the Ballarat Cup might be ideal for him, we will just savour this one for the time being and then work out what we do but the Ballarat Cup could be a good option for him.
"He was a $50,000 horse at the Melbourne Premier sale – dad (Bill) actually found him - and he is repaying his owners now that is for sure."
The cup win gave Wilde and Dodging Bullets back-to-back wins following the gelding’s 2040m win at Moonee Valley on October 27.
Winning jockey Moor was full of praise for the gelding.
“Darren Weir's horses are awfully hard to beat at the best of times, especially when they have had a walk, trot and canter in front," he said.
"Last start he came off the bit a long way out off a good speed and took a long time to hit top gear, I thought today if he could travel in hand and be one out, one back and he did that and was strong to the line.”
The Robert Smerdon-trained seven-year-old Grand Dreamer ($5) was third, while the only locally-trained galloper in the race Penny To Sell was fifth.
Her trainer Mick Sell said he was pleased with the six-year-old mare’s run.
“It was a perfect ride (by Craig Robertson), she run out of her skin, but the other four horses in front were too good for her,” he said.
“I think she’s earned a good spell now. She’s probably had 14 starts this time in, she’s done a big job.
“Down the track we’ll look at a few more country cups when she comes back in.”
The mare was chasing her second cup win within a month following success at Gunbower. She was also second in last month’s $20,000 Avoca Cup.
A brave cup run topped a reasonable day for the Kyneton trainer, who saddled up a pair of third placegetters in the heavily-backed Maximus and maiden galloper Alejandro earlier in the day.
The training honours were shared by Weir and the Flemington combination of Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, with both teams getting doubles.
Wins to three-year-old filly Tina Turbin and the improving Manning Road in a 1850m benchmark 64 were particularly pleasing for Zahra, who owns a farming property in the Kyneton region.
“The owner was keen to go to Oaks Day with Manning Road. It was smaller pickings, but we were happy to come here, she’s been well-placed and really hit the line well,” he said.
“We took the blinkers off her and she’s turned her form around – she was over racing early in her preparation, but now the blinkers are on, she relaxes and had a nice turn of foot today.
“We’d be happy to go to a nice 2000m race with her next and hopefully keep collecting prize money.”
The co-trainers previously won the Kyneton Cup in 12011 with Lucky Eighty eight, but did not have a starter on Wednesday.
“I come up here on weekends and my wife lives up here all week. We’ve been up here 10 years now, so I like to support Kyneton Cup day as much as I possible,” he said.
“I was in a tent earlier and there were a lot of young people coming through, which is a key to this industry.”