Track specialist Island Dane took out the $50,000 Taree Cup (2000m) courtesy of a canny ride by apprentice Alison Threadwell.
The race suffered from a lack of a natural leader but Threadwell aimed directly for the prime spot at barrier rise and controlled the race from that point.
Only Matt Bennett aboard Blinkin Easy had the same thoughts and both horses crossed from wide barriers.
The duo set a slow to steady pace for the majority of the race and gave nothing behind a serious chance.
It was clear at the halfway mark that the Allan Denham race favourite Striving had an almost impossible job.
He settled with the last three horses and failed to make an early run on the triangular track.
The Glenn Moore-trained Swindle enjoyed a perfect run behind the leader while Castlemagne King was posted three wide for the majority of the race.
At the 700m, Blinkin Easy applied pressure to Island Dane who had travelled sweetly throughout.
Indeed at the home turn, Island Dane looked to be travelling best with Blinkin Easy being pushed along and no horse making significant ground from the back.
Both leaders staged a terrific battle going head and head down the 350m Taree straight.
Island Dane prevailed narrowly from Blinkin Easy with top weight Rodeo Playboy taking third after it settled midfield.
Island Dane was local trainer Nick Chambers‘ first runner in the Cup.
Chambers, who trains just 13 horses, had some reservations that Island Dane would get 2000m at his first attempt.
But undoubtedly Island Dane’s will to win and loving for Taree helped.
It was the six-year-old’s third win at his past four starts and his eighth win at Taree from 21 starts at the track.
The win was a dream come true for owner Moira Munroe whose late husband always had a dream to buy and race a horse.
Munroe went out and bought the broodmare Bloomers (by Blazing Saddles).
It hadn’t thrown much prior to the mating with unfashionable sire Home On The Grange that produced Island Dane.
“Her husband might have a bit of an angel’s touch,” Chambers said.
Munroe took a party of 20 people to the track and got the sentimental win she hoped.
Chambers commenced training at Taree five years ago.
Island Dane, a winner of 11 races all up also has the Krambach and Wingham Cups in the cupboard.
Chambers complimented his little trier.
“He is a bulldog who puts in 100 per cent even in trackwork,” he said.
Today that bulldog quality was provided on cue.
|1||4||ISLAND DANE||Nick Chambers||Ms Alison Threadwell (a)||11||53.5kg||$10|
|2||2||BLINKIN EASY||Ruth Cooper||Matthew Bennett||0.1L||16||55.5kg||$11|
|3||1||RODEO PLAYBOY||John B Scott||Terry Treichel||1.9L||6||57kg||$4.60|
|4||13||HYDROPHILIC||Max Boland||Allan Chau||3.3L||2||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$51|
|5||8||SWINDLE||Glenn Moore||Raymond Spokes||3.3L||10||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$17|
|6||15||HUSISNAME||Noel Boland||Matthew Paget||3.6L||1||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$81|
|7||10||PERLAACT||Greg Drury||Scott Thurlow||4L||5||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$13|
|8||7||CASTLEMAGNE KING||Basil Ryan||Glenn Lynch||5.1L||12||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$15|
|9||3||ARISTOCRATICO||Gayna Williams||Matthew Dracos||6.2L||13||55kg||$41|
|10||9||HOMENOW||Jenny Graham||Ms Belinda Hodder (a)||6.4L||8||53kg||$10|
|11||6||STRIVING||Allan Denham||Robert Thompson||7.1L||9||53kg||$3.60F|
|12||5||TEE TEE DANCER||Fred Cowell||Serg Lisnyy (a)||7.8L||3||53kg||$8.50|
|13||14||STAGE LEFT||Tas Morton||Ms Alex Stokes (a)||8.9L||4||53kg||$31|
|14||11||WANNABE||Bob Graham||Peter Graham||9.7L||14||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$81|
|15||12||GOTHIC GOLD||Margaret De Gonneville||Pietro Romeo||9.8L||15||53kg||$51|
|16||16||KING LYPHARD||Tess Wilkes||Ms Samantha Munro (a)||10.3L||7||53kg||$101|