Coffs connections clean up country Cups
COUTTS CROSSING CUP: To the delight of the Coutts Crossing faithful in the north-western grandstand, fan-favourite Supreme Willy finally cashed in on his early career promise for trainer Brett Bellamy.
It was a case of from Grafton Cup to Coutts Crossing Cup for connections of the experienced gelding as Coffs Harbour businessmen Peter Woods and Ross White claimed another piece of Clarence silverware this year.
The experienced owners stole the July Carnival this year with their horse Rednav pulling off a fairytale victory in the listed feature and the pair were at it again on Coutts Crossing Cup day.
It was the end to a bittersweet tale for the owners with the crowd-pleaser getting up for only his second win in what could be one of his last starts for the stable.
Supreme Willy, who showed early promise with a maiden victory on debut, is now on the market and due to be sold to a new stable in the coming weeks.
The galloper has always shown natural speed in his races but always tended to pull up short of the line, but that was not the case this time as he stormed to the finishing post to claim the Coutts Crossing Cup by four lengths.
"The tailwind was very important out there, if it was a headwind I reckon he wouldn't have won,” Ross said. "Will [Supreme Willy] has had a few issues in his life but he is an honest country racer and most of the times he has raced he has just been a bit slow.
"He really showed promise as a young horse, he had a little bit of trouble with his feet but that isn't causing him any grief now.
"Since that he just has not been the same horse, he has been a good country horse, but not the city horse we thought we might have had.”
While the Grafton Cup Day will forever be in the memory of the two owners, they were quick to point out the importance of all race days.
"Racing is what is important to us,” Woods said. "It is not whether it is the Grafton Cup or the Coutts Crossing Cup, I am not going to say that but on the day we won the Grafton Cup that was the best race day of our lives.
"The reality is these race days are important too, and the horses that come through these meetings generally end up in days like the Grafton Cup. So you start your days here and work your way up.”
For jockey Raymond Spokes who was on board for Supreme Willy's first salute of the judges at Port Macquarie three years ago and now again at Grafton, lifting the Coutts Crossing Cup trophy was a moment of triumph.
"He has always showed good speed in races, he has been over racing a little bit and then just stopping lately but today I just kicked to him a little bit and let him do his own thing,” he said.
"It was the first time with the tongue tie on and I'm hoping that worked, but yeah he got to the line good.
"His first race he hit the line even better than that and you thought he was going to be something special but he just never came throught with it but today he is in the money.
"Any race is good to win, and I got twocwinners today which is a bonus.”