Victory is a moving moment for happy owner
WINNING the Daniel Baker Sprint was the fulfilment of a promise made almost eight years ago by Richard Oliver, a part-owner of Aroused.
Shortly after Daniel Baker tragically died after a race fall in December 2007, Oliver was asked by Coffs Harbour Racing Club CEO Russ Atkinson and trainer Gordon Yorke to assist with holding a function to help raise funds for the jockey's family.
It was at this time Oliver made his vow.
"When they named the Sprint, I said I'll come back and I'll win that Sprint when I've got a horse that's good enough and today (Cup Day) was the day," Oliver said.
Entering into the Daniel Baker Sprint wasn't in the plans of trainer Allan Denham and he had no hesitation in telling Oliver his thoughts.
"He said you're going backwards in prizemoney, we can win in the city again," he explained.
"I told him that I just want to go back to Coffs and win this race."
Considering Aroused won at Randwick on June 20, it's a fair bet on Thursday's showing the Foreplay gelding could've scored another win in the city.
Jockey Brenton Avdulla certainly thought so considering the ease of the 2¾ length win over Sprite Zah and Ebony Rein.
"It was like riding trackwork," Avdulla told connections.
The seven year-old was in sixth position after settling but moved up to third by the turn.
Avdulla didn't necessarily want to be in the leading bunch entering the straight but said he was left with little choice.
"I actually had to come around them because he was travelling that well," he said.
"When he hit the front, he had a good look around and that's why I had to give him a bit of a kick in the guts but once he knuckled down he was always going to win."