Cup winner in its prime

Trainer Christopher Davey and Face of Racing Laura Darrington pose with Narrandera Cup winner Ruary Mac.

The Leeton Toyota Narrandera Cup day went off without a hitch on Saturday. While the cold winds may have kept some would-be racegoers away there were plenty of locals out and about to enjoy the fashions and have a flutter.

The day wasn’t without its tensions, as jockey Megan Taylor fell from her horse during the Yarran Wines Maiden Plate.  Taylor appeared to spend some time motionless on the track before the paramedics reached her, although it was announced on the day that she had sustained no serious injuries.

There was also the fashions on the field between races, with the Lady of the Day won by Karen Johnson for the second year in a row. While some competitors were a little reluctant to take part, there was plenty of exuberance on the stage, particularly when it came time to judge the Man of the Day.

The highlight of the day was the cup itself. Despite having only five entrants, the race was close. The track was good for the day and the weather held up its end of the bargain.

The winner of the $12,000 Leeton Toyota Cup over  1400 metres was Ruary Mac, whose owner and trainer Christopher Davis was very pleased with the outcome. Bred by Jane Davey in Longwood, Victoria, Ruary Mac, an eight-year-old gelding, was skilfully ridden by jockey Rebeka Prest.

Last year’s winner and this year’s favourite, Benno’s Boy, came third.

“We know Benno’s Boy is a local horse, trained at Wagga, and Trevor Sutherland is a very astute trainer,” Davis said. “We had to outride him with our jockey, Rebeka Prest. So she had a magnificent ride, she’s run on Ruary Mac before. She knows the horse, she rode him at Swan Hill last week in the bog, and he couldn’t get out of the bog, but this track suited him and these conditions.
It’s a good track for a rangy, leggy horse.”

Luckily for his owner, Ruary Mac’s success isn’t a one-off.

“He’s in his prime, he’s won nine races now,” Davis said. “We’ve had him since day one, we have a high opinion of this horse. He’s our stable favourite, he waves the flag for us. He’s got a lovely personality, my seven-year-old daughter Ruby leads him off the truck, she leads him around everywhere. Takes his halter off, because as soon as you pat his head he puts his head down, and she can take the halter off him. He’s a glorious horse.”

Davis trains at the Wangaratta track, although he and Ruary Mac live at their farm at Violet Town.

“I love racing. We raced here at Narrandera at their last meeting and it was good fun. We didn’t get a winner, but we had fun. I think I’ve raced 20 horses this week, but I love racing, my whole family loves racing,” Davis said.

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