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20 October 2021
By JOSH MILLER
The Horsham Cup will stay close to home after local trainer Paul Preusker secured his third victory in the race with his promising stayer Orleans Rock.
The six-year-old gelding was solidly backed throughout the day and by the time the race jumped was a warm $2.15 favourite.
But as the gates crashed and runners found their positions, the hometown fancy had settled last in the eight-horse field.
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He remained at the tail for most of the 2100-metre trip but when the tempo of the race increased, jockey Dean Holland hit the go button and set his mount alight.
The son of Rock’n’Pop quickly rounded up his rivals and the race was over a long way from home, the official winning margin posted at just over a length.
Preusker said the race was run to suit his horse and was pleased with his performance.
“When things pan out for him he’s a really handy galloper,” he said.
“He’ll head to the Ararat Cup on November 7 and try to pinch a couple of country cups this prep.”
Preusker also noted that Orleans Rock was still on the up and hoped to find a suitable race for him in ‘town’.
The cup brought up a double for the stable after $6 Lowanna Magic stormed home in the short straight to take out a benchmark-70 event over 1200 metres.
This was a qualifying race for the VRC Grand Handicap Series, where the Atomic gelding has booked a place in the final at Flemington in March. Preusker was impressed with his six-year-old’s explosive finish.
“It’s hard to win like that at Horsham,” he said.
The stable was also happy with the performances of Jolting, first up from a spell in the same race, and debutant Magic Chloe, second in a three-year-old maiden race, noting both were better for the outing.
Of Jolting Preusker said: “He’s by Melbourne Cup winner Shocking. He’ll be a nice stayer, he just needs a bit of racing.”
Of Magic Chloe: “She’s a lovely filly. We haven’t set any real plans, we’ll just keep educating her.”
The spring racing continues in the Wimmera this weekend with St Arnaud hosting its once-a-year cup meeting on Sunday.
Traditionally on Saturday to align with the Cox Plate, this will be the second year in a row where it fills a Sunday spot in the schedule, allowing for greater exposure through broadcast partners Racing.com and Sky Channel.
The move to Sunday has also led to an increase in prize money, helping attract more competitors to the event.
It seems we’re all champing at the bit to get back to the races this spring.
A crowd of about 40 adults and children gathered outside the fence of Horsham’s 1400- metre starting point on Natimuk Road, keen to watch the runners be loaded and released from the gates for race one. The general feeling was the adults were every bit as excited as the kids to get so close to the action again – not long now folks.
The entire October 20, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!