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Ideal Position perfectly placed
7th May 2012
Mudgee Guardian - Ben Harris - Monday, 7 May 2012
Gooree Cup day was renamed Jeff Brasch day after the Mudgee trainer grabbed two wins and a second including the $30,000 feature race in a photo finish.
Brasch's day started off when his three-year-old filly Cassie's Favourite won the opening race.
The trainer followed it up in the next race when his mare Blue Mantle finished half-a-length behind the Danny Parsons-trained Super Asset.
But nothing was going to stop Brasch's champion four-year-old gelding Ideal Position from taking out the Gooree Cup on his home track.
In the closest race in the mile event's 26-year history, Ideal Position ($3.20fav, Greg Ryan) stormed home in the final 50 metres to steal the Cup from Centover ($26, Glenn Lynch) in a photo finish.
Spectators, punters, bookmakers, officials, trainers, riders and race caller Col Hodges were all on edge as no one could tell who had won the 1600m event.
After much deliberation, where the replay was shown in slow motion on numerous occasions, the victory was awarded to Ideal Position.
"Unbelievable," Brasch said.
"He is such a tough horse. He was gone 50 out and I thought we were going to run a really nice second here and then he fought back and he just kept going.
"He just keeps on surprising me. I keep stepping him up each time and he keeps delivering."
It was Ideal Position's third consecutive win and seventh of his 13-race career.
After being picked up as an unraced three-year-old for a meagre $1,100 at the 2011 Inglis Autumn Thoroughbred Sale in Sydney, the bargain buy has subsequently recorded more than $65,000 for owners Sue Small and Jess Dinham.
Small is Brasch's partner and Dinham, her best friend.
Ideal Position's hat-trick of wins started at Mudgee on Easter Sunday when he took out the City vs Country Races handicap (1200m).
He followed it up nearly three weeks later when he won the $20,000 Soldiers Saddle at Bathurst on Anzac Day.
Now, to win the Gooree Cup, Brasch was left speechless.
"The Soldiers Saddle was the biggest thrill I've had but this tops it," Brasch said.
"It is a great race. It's a race I set him [Ideal Position] 12 months ago and to be here today to collect the trophy just means so much. It's incredible.
"Greg has had a huge opinion of the horse and I'm so glad he came through for Greg and for everyone.
"That was a tough run today so I might just give him a break for a bit to look after him."
Rockin' Rocket ($12, Anthony Cavallo) and second race favourite River Of Salvation ($3.50, Jay Ford) led out the field down the back straight.
Mudgee-trained galloper Toranaga ($41, Joe Saiki) joined Rockin' Rocket at the front as they turned for home.
Through the middle Centover charged to take the lead and was in the clear before Greg Ryan cracked Ideal Position into gear.
Ideal Position used all his strength to snatch the win with a final lunge.
Centover was second, River Of Salvation third and Are You Sure ($6, Mathew Cahill) trained by young Mudgee trainer Cameron Crockett was fourth, beating home Bathurst's Moment Of Clarity ($12, Kody Nestor).
It was a huge crowd at the Mudgee Racecourse with many of the locals rubbing shoulders with some of rugby league's greats as part of a Men Of League Foundation event.
Champion Sydney jockeys, Dunedoo-born Hugh Bowman, and Golden Slipper winner Nash Rawiller, were also in attendance for the big race day.