The crowd had plenty to cheer about on Sunday as a number of hometown trainers scored wins at Mudgee Race Club’s 175th anniversary celebration meet.
As well as the historic reason to attend, a big crowd turned out to lay eyes on Hugh Bowman, the Dunedoo product who has gone on to be now rated the best jockey in the world.
Bowman had two rides on the day but had to settle for a second-placed finish at best.
Trainers from Mudgee and Gulgong combined to win half of the eight races on offer but in the day’s main event, the XXXX Cup (1400m), it was Coonamble’s Cecil Hodgson who stole the show.
The Cup win with A Magic Zariz capped off a successful week for Hodgson, who won on his hometown track with $41 outsider Vanblos only seven days earlier.
Bred and raced by Wally and Leonie Prout from Gilgandra, A Magic Zariz ($2.90 favourite), was well rideen by promising Dubbo-based apprentice Chris Williams.
Williams guided A Magic Zariz along the rails to beat home Artistic Beauty (Courtney Van Der Werf, $3.60) and Strathaird (Rachael Murray, $7).
Artistic Beauty is trained by Mudgee’s Cameron Crockett, who also had the fifth-placed Letchworth ($31) in the event.
The first local win at the meet came two races before the Cup, as Bob Howe’s Northern Conqueror ($13) beat out the highest rated jockey in the world.
Anthony Cavallo rode Northern Conqueror to victory, ahead of Kris Lee’s Eastern Paradise ($2.40F), who was piloted by Bowman.
Crockett had Moss My Name ($3.50 favourite) win the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m) while Gayna Williams won with Skin Deep ($7) in the Benchmark 55 Handicap (1600m). Mark Milton rounded out the local wins after Full Revs ($10) took out another Benchmark 55 Handicap (1600m).
Outside of the local victors, Newcastle and Warwick Farm trainers also left the historic meet with wins under their belts.
Lees took out the first race of the day with Atlantic Edge ($3.50) while Bjorn Baker didn’t leave empty handed, as Personable ($2.70 favourite) won the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Award Handicap (2000m).