Outsider Rednav caused a huge upset when he beat the more fancied runner in the Listed $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton today.
Rednav only gained a start in the Grafton Cup after winning the $25,000 Grafton Cup Prelude (2215m) at Grafton a week ago but was sent out at the juicy odds of $26.
Rookie Coffs Harbour trainer Sally Taylor was ecstatic to win the Grafton Cup, only her sixth winner in her short training career that kicked off in February this year.
Three starts back Rednav failed to beat a runner home when twelfth in a 2015m BenchMark 65 Handicap at Coffs Harbour with apprentice Mollie Partridge in the saddle but Taylor said a switch to a stronger senior rider in Peter Graham has brought the best out of Rednav.
“That was a very disappointing run, off character, but he is that type of horse that put one of two of those in in his preps,” Taylor said.
“I thought he would improve from the run last time, but never expected this.”
With Graham in the saddle, Rednav was able to qualify for the Grafton Cup with a return to winning form in the Grafton Cup Prelude and he did the job again today.
“Peter is perfect for him. He needs a jockey that actually rides him and wakes him up early,” Taylor said.
“Like he got going before the 1000m on him and that is what he needs.”
“He comes from behind or just off them and he has rode him absolutely perfectly.”
Graham settled Rednav in the second half of the field and started to push forward well before the home turn, having the five year old ready to challenge the front runners once heads were turned for home.
Rednav still had plenty of work to do as Graham pushed through the middle of the pack before to scoring a head win over Gold Coast galloper All Clear ($12) with Toowoomba stayer Jumbo Prince ($5) running on well for third.
Favourite Malice ($4) was given the run of the race by Brenton Avdulla but after hitting the front at the 250m, faded in the run to the line to finish fourth.
Taylor’s training career only took off when winning owner Peter Wood insisted that she take up a licence so as to train his horses.
“I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for Peter. He basically kick started me, he gave me some fantastic horses including Rednav and the one that raced yesterday (Final Reflection). I owe everything to Peter,” Taylor said.
“It is absolutely amazing, the best feeling I have ever experienced. I cannot believe I am standing here right now.”