Trained by the sister of five shearers, part-owned by an orphan who left school at 14 to become a jackaroo and later made his fortune as a nightclub owner and futures trader, and ridden by a young jockey formerly from Queensland, the four-year-old mare One Aye won the $50,000 Bankstown Sports Club Forbes Cup in an exciting finish on Sunday.
One Aye and the runner up Toulon Brook have now achieved eligibility for the $2 million Big Dance to be held at Royal Randwick on Melbourne Cup day.
Barbara Joseph, who prepares One Aye, has been a long-time successful trainer at Bombala, Canberra and the Sapphire Coast and over recent years has operated as a partnership with her sons Paul and Matt Jones.
The above mentioned part-owner is larger-than-life character Max Whitby, who has raced hundreds of horses including several champions such as 2004 Cox Plate winner Savabeel.
Quayd Krogh, who rode with some success on Queensland tracks and then spent time with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable at Randwick, has seen his career flourish since joining the Joseph and Jones team at Canberra and it was an outstanding ride on One Aye.
Approaching the home turn in the 1600 metre feature it was Toulon Brook, Straya Pride and Dubbo hope Notabadidea leading the capacity field of 14 while favourite One Aye was starting to make ground from midfield.
Toulon Brook ($11), a former Kody Nestor galloper now trained by Matthew Dale at Canberra and ridden by Tony Cavallo, broke clear but was overhauled and beaten a neck by One Aye ($5 to $4.20) while the Kurt Goldman-trained Intuition (Nick Heywood, $13) finished well for third.
Reward Seeker (Jake Pracey-Holmes) runner up to From The Bush in last year's cup for Dubbo trainer Michael Mulholland, worked home nicely for fourth.
Despite it being a very cold day with early showers, Forbes attracted a big crowd and the eight races on the good 4 then soft 5 well-prepared track and each event was contested by mainly capacity fields.
Feature sprint, the 1200 metres The Amazing Ben Hall Bullet Benchmark 74 Handicap, received good support from Forbes Shire Council and saw a smart win by the Brad Widdup, Hawkesbury trained Free State.
Last-start Gilgandra winner Moetta (Jake Barrett, $4.20) held a slender lead at the top of the straight for Dubbo trainer Brett Robb and fought hard however Free State (Billy Owen, $5.50) burst through the pack to score by a head with Kattegat (Robbie Brewer, $6), carrying the 62kg top weight, a close third.
At this time of the year, Dubbo trainer Merv Rumble is often campaigning with a team of horses in Darwin however he was at Forbes to win the $40,000 Roylances Tractor Replacements Showcase Country Maiden Plate with Ogrim.
Producing a strong run down the outside Ogrim (Clayton Gallagher, $9.50) won by over a length from Down To Earth (Serg Lisnyy, $19) and Rubi Air (Jake Barrett, $4).
The other legs of a treble for Clayton Gallagher were the Wayne Collison, Narromine trained Money Not My God ($3.30) and Osman ($4.60) trained at Mudgee by Mack Griffith.
Taree trainer Joe Burges had a double with Barry's Lane (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $5.50) and Mr Eighty Eight (Nick Heywood, $4.40) while Heywood also won on Extravagant Lad ($3.50 fav.) for Goulburn trainer Scott Collings.
The famous Louth races in outback New South Wales on Saturday followed by the Spinalcure Australia meeting at Dubbo on Sunday.
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