A Hat-trick of feature cup wins is within Ransomed's grasp after another first-class staying performance on his home turf yesterday.
The Awapuni five-year-old firmed in the market for the group two Pacific Jewellers Wellington Cup following his victory in the Listed Marton Gallagher Cup. That followed his group three Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup win, which was in turn preceded by success in the cup prelude.
TAB bookmakers reacted swiftly to Ransomed's effort and his cup odds have been trimmed from $10 to $6 and now equal favourite with the Stephen McKee-trained Chaparrone. They are the only runners at single figure quotes.
"He's a beauty all right and it's always good to win on your home track," trainer Gary Vile said. "It's also nice to win another one for Frank."
Vile races Ransomed with Jean Walsh, wife of the late Taranaki trainer Frank who enjoyed outstanding success with the likes of quality gallopers Koporoa, Counsel, Marinoto and Maria Mitchell.
"Frank was a dear friend of mine and he and Jean supported me when I started training up in New Plymouth. They made sure I had a horse of theirs in work to get me going," Vile said.
Ransomed had looked to be a victim of a dawdling tempo when he was second last in the field and his trainer had given up on his chances down the back. "I said at the 1000 that he couldn't win, he was too far back, but he's got a terrific will to win," Vile said.
Regular rider Johnathon Parkes urged the Handsome Ransom gelding forward soon after and they were within striking distance of the leaders turning for home. Ransomed produced his trademark finishing run to pick up the cup.
Runner-up My Scotsgrey also did his Wellington Cup prospects no harm while Mungo Jerry finished well from the back as well. Spiro was a gallant fourth under his topweight of 60kg.
Walsh's golden run
David Walsh continued his outstanding West Coast form when he guided Negotiate to a hard-fought victory in the Kumara Gold Nuggets yesterday.
The evergreen rider's six winners at last weekend's Greymouth meeting included the cup aboard the Kevin Myers-trained mare, who gamely backed up this afternoon to complete a notable southern double in the time-honoured feature.
"You know Kevin's horses are fit and ready to go and they always put in," Walsh, 54, said. Negotiate finished doggedly along the rails to collar Josephine in the final stride and Walsh was adamant he would have been unlucky not to have won.
"To be honest if I had got beaten we would have been a certainty beaten," he said.
The four-year-old daughter of King's Chapel has now won five of her 19 starts.