By Kobie O'Brien
Rockhampton trainer Tony McMahon has secured the 2018 Triple M Rockhampton Cup courtesy of a brave front running effort by 6-year-old mare Mamselle Corday.
Locally trained horses won just 6 races over the 2-day carnival; the $44 odds on offer putting the icing on the cake for connections.
It was a remarkable effort by the outsider with jockey Les ‘Bubba’ Tilley finding the front from barrier 13, holding off a strong challenge in the end by Natalie McCall’s Colour Charge and starting favourite Balboa Rocks.
Trainer Tony McMahon insisted his mare was going into the race better than the form on paper suggested, in fact beaten by 5 and a half-lengths and then 3 lengths by Balboa Rocks in consective runs over a mile leading up to the cup.
“She has been racing well, last start her run was enormous because of the fact she was severely interfered with and she was forced to go back to last.” He said.
“But today, she took up her normal role. She can race forward and I said to Les go to the front and that was the plan.”
Mamselle Corday was ridden almost upside down from the start prior where she came from last to finish 5th, known to get back and run on occasions however the change in tactics worked a treat for the 48-start veteran with trainer McMahon praising the versatility of the horse.
“She’s very versatile, and she can lead.” He said.
“Most of the races she’s won, if you go through the form, she’d lead. She’s that sort of mare that throws her head and fights if you restrain her too much. Rather than do that on a wet track, the idea was to be up there and go to the front, and it was just a wonderful wonderful thrill.”
Tony McMahon has indicated she will not be heading north to the Mackay or Townville cups with a query over the rise in distance.
The stars aligned in the end for the trainer, who was thrilled about this win in particular.
“It was lovely to win the centenary cup, and after having called 16 of them and be here today and win that, it was great.”