Plenty left in the tank for Ken Howard Cup winner
ANY doubts odds-on favourite He's Dreamin' would struggle to run out the 2,300m on a soft track during the Ken Howard Cup were dismissed in the blink of an eye.
Travelling at the rear of the five-horse field for the majority of the journey, the Dream Ballad gelding swept to the front in the space of a furlong as the field rounded the final turn for home.
In fact so easy did the six year-old pull away, winning jockey Robert Thompson returned to scale effusive about the chances of He's Dreamin' winning at even greater distances.
"He wanted to go another lap," Thompson said as he dismounted in the winner's circle.
For trainer Rodney Northam it was a dream start to the Coffs Harbour racing carnival for him as he managed to get the quinella with stablemate Space Invader finishing second, 3¾ lengths behind.
"A great result," was Northam's easy summation.
Prior to today, He's Dreamin' had been perfoming consistently without actually getting a hoof on the till.
Three runner-up finishes and a third from his past four starts showed Northam the gelding was racing well but the trainer said getting so close so many times without actually recording a win can become a mental hurdle to jump over.
"His last two months have been good but coming into this he probably needed to win one to get a bit of confidence," he said.
"He's been around the mark, very consistent but has just always been finding one a bit too good for him."
For Thompson it was a third straight win in the Ken Howard Cup after booting home Count The Chimes in 2013 and Samsili last year.
Having ridden more than 5,000 winners in his illustrious career, it was a statistic Thompson was unaware of.
"Is it really? OK, we'll take it," he said.