Leading from start to finish, Sahara Covet shows his rivals a clean pair of heels in the Coffs Ex-Services Club Easter Cup.
Leading from start to finish, Sahara Covet shows his rivals a clean pair of heels in the Coffs Ex-Services Club Easter Cup.

Investment pays off in Cup

Stories by Brad Greenshields

Sahara Covet led from start to finish to hold off stable mate Laminated in Saturday's Easter Cup at Coffs Harbour.

And co-owner Peter Wood couldn't have been happier with the veteran gelding that he and Ross White bought just over 12 months ago. It has proven to be a wise investment.

"We thought he'd go well today, and class-wise he was a better horse than the others in the field," Wood said. "It was his second run back from a spell, and it's good that he's had a win after suffering from a foot injury during the last campaign."

Wood and White bought Sahara Covet in the used horse market and haven't regretted their decision in the least.

"He's won more than $150,000 in prize money, and in his first seven starts that we had him, he was in the prize money in each race," Wood said.

"We just like racing competitive horses, but with this one, we might have some fun during the Grafton and Coffs carnivals."

On Saturday, Sahara Covet went straight to the lead on softer ground due to a passing shower.

Down the straight, with less grip to get into to, the horses behind had their wheels spinning, but couldn't make any ground on the winner.

Former Coffs Harbour Cup winner Darcy D'or finished a disappointing fourth.

Although he was heavily weighted on Saturday, future success for the Grafton horse will depend on connections finding races with extra distance than the 1300 metres the Easter Cup offered.

A PUNTER'S nightmare.

You find the best looking horse in the mounting yard, think you've found a sure fire winner, and then totally ignore it after looking at the form guide, only to see it salute at the post. The Brett Bellamy-trained Raqeeb was just that nightmare horse on Saturday.

During the Aristocrat Technologies Maiden, Raqeeb held off the fast-finishing even-money favorite Maria, to record a 3/4 length victory.

The $36 dividend on the tote had supporters jumping for joy as Raqeeb crossed the line.

According to Bellamy, the formula for Raqeeb's success was simple.

Having recorded two second-lasts, and a last from the past three starts, it was merely a matter of Raqeeb 'needing more ground', Bellamy said.

"He was sent up from Sydney, where the ground's harder, he's been placed in a weaker field, and he likes the climate." Despite winning over 1400 metres on Saturday, Bellamy believes that the horse will probably be better suited over the mile.



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