Local boy Chris Symons rated today’s Mornington Cup win aboard outsider Norsqui as one of the highlights of his riding career.
Symons combined with Tasmanian trainer Walter McShane to cause a boilover in taking out the Listed $300,000 Centrebet Mornington Cup (2400m) at Mornington in convincing style.
Norsqui, starting at the lucrative odds of $26 had the race won half way down the straight when it was plain to see that runner up Drunken Sailor was not going to pick him up.
“I live up the road and it is a great cup to win. My intentions were to go forward but I just didn’t have the early dash and I got further back than I anticipated. However the boys set it up for me and I got a nice cart into it and he finished it off strong.”
“I was surprised when he got to the front and I thought he went too early but he extended and when I asked him to respond, he did and he kept finding the line.”
“This is great. This is up there with the majority of my good winners and being a local here makes all the difference,” Symons said.
The pattern of the race played right into Symons hands and the race was set up for him when the leaders increased the tempo at the 800m which enabled Norsqui to hit the line hard.
McShane was worried mid race when Norsqui was back worse than midfield but when the pace picked up at the 800m he knew his stayer would run on hard at the finish.
Top weight Drunken Sailor ($9.50) ran a solid race and wound up two and a half lengths back in second spot with Sea Galleon ($7) holding on for third another three and a quarter lengths away.
“I thought he was too far back but he showed more turn of foot today than usual and its very exciting.
McShane, who bred Norsqui and is also a part owner, was happy to make the trip from Hobart to come to Mornington and has no qualms about sharing in the winners cheque of $180,000 .
Ruling out a Lauceston Cup start in his home state, McShane said the Adelaide Cup could be on the agenda as a stepping stone to this year’s Caulfield Cup in the spring with the Mornington Cup winner being exempt from the ballot.
Short priced favourite Power Of O’Raylee was under pressure when the pace quickened at the 800m and failed to response to the riding of Luke Nolan and wound up in ninth spot over twelve lengths from the winner.
The Peter Moody trained four year old was going for her seventh win in a row but found the rise in class and the step up in distance beyond her at this stage of her career.