Thompson extends South Grafton Cup record
WINNING Scone trainer Rodney Northam breathed a huge sigh of relief after bonny mare Myamira outclassed her rivals to win the $50,000 Black Auto South Grafton Cup (1600m) yesterday.
"Believe me, this is a big relief. I hate training favourites," Northam said.
The pressure however didn't show. Northam was all smiles after the five-year-old, which started a $2.60 favourite, unleashed a withering turn of speed from well back in the field to record a length win. Ridden superbly by Robert Thompson, Myamira beat Bouzy Rouge ($8) with Single Spirit ($21) a head away third. It was the first leg of what Thompson and Northam hope will be a winning feature race treble.
They combine with Big Money, favourite for Wednesday's $150,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie (1200m), and Husswick in the $42,000 Tursa Employment & Training Grafton Guineas (1600m) the same day.
Myamira's win was Thompson's fifth in the South Grafton Cup.
His previous winners were Brigalow (1984), Retford (1988), Shoemaker (2002) and Laogan (2008).
"It's been a good race to me," Thompson said. "Rod had her spot on for me today. She was pig rooting going to the barriers. I knew she would run well."
Northam said Thompson's last words before going onto the track were encouraging.
"Robert said to me going out don't worry, one always wins from behind," Northam revealed. "He was dead right."
Myamira was the only favourite to salute in the first six races.
"She rounded them up pretty quickly," Northam said. "She's got a good turn of foot when she lets down. It's good to get this one. The big long straight suited her.
"I might give her a break now and bring her back for some of the better mares racing in the spring."
Myamira is raced and bred by Jim and Gail Newton from Port Macquarie. Northam has trained most of the family from Myamira's dam, Simmysue.
Simmysue was the 43-year-old's second winner as a trainer and his first metropolitan winner.
The win was Thompson's second for the day after a lucky pick-up ride on Lucky Meteor ($4.40) who was also the second leg of a winning double for local trainer John Shelton after Dreams of Gold (Matthew Paget) won earlier.
Ben Looker was booked for Lucky Meteor but suffered a race fall on Thursday. He has been stood down until the Maclean Cup meeting due to concussion.