David Payne-trained Winning Glory ($17) scored the biggest win of his career in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) this afternoon, holding off the fast-finishing Lucripetous ($6.50) to record a gutsy victory.
Winning Glory was the early leader in the race before veteran jockey Jim Cassidy decided to take control of proceedings by bringing his mount Tenby Lady ($9) to the lead and he raced away to be eight lengths clear from the rest of the field.
Tenby Lady tired badly when the field hit the final straight and Winning Glory hit the lead but was clearly struggling in the final stages and needed all his guts to claim a narrow victory from Lucripetous, who came from the tail of the field, and Peal Of Bells ($9).
Winning Glory was a big drifter in Newcastle Cup betting markets before the race but trainer David Payne was always confident that the One Cool Cat was a serious winning chance.
“He is very honest,” Payne said.
“He is just below the top horses but he is a real tough old grinder.
“If he gets his own way he could pull it off.”
Winning Glory has been in work for an incredible eleven months but has improved significantly throughout his winter and spring preparation.
He was placed in the ATC Membership On Sale Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 6 and the Hungry Jack’s Handicap (2000m) at the same venue a fortnight later and after a poor performance in the Tab.Com.Au Handicap (2000m) recorded his first victory in over a year in the St Johns Park Bowling Club Handicap (1800m) before finishing third behind Less Is More and Ironstein in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m).
The 2012 Newcastle Cup was one of the key form races for the rest of the Spring Racing Carnival, with the winner Glencadam Gold going on to win the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) and finish sixth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
David Payne has confirmed that will not be the case in 2013 as Winning Glory will now head to the paddock for a much-deserved spell.