By Glenn Davis
A signature ride from Robert Thompson has delivered the veteran Newcastle jockey his fifth Cairns Cup on the Janel Ryan-trained We Just Love It at Cannon Park on Saturday.
We Just Love came from worse than midfield halfway through the 2100-metre far north Queensland feature to nail Multifacets on the line.
The margin was only a short half head with Townsville Cup winner Lady Skills, a further 1-1/4 lengths away, third.
Thomson is a regular visitor each year for the north Queensland carnival and won his first Cairns Cup in 2012.
He later was successful aboard Seafight (2013), Richie Rocket (2015) and Chivadahllii last year.
Thomson said he was uncertain if We Just Love It had got up in the last bound and paid tribute to Ryan and her husband Ron.
“I didn’t know if I had won but deep down I thought I just got there,” Thompson said.
“Ron and I planned this 12 months ago on Cairns Amateur Day last year and everything has come off perfectly.”
Janel Ryan has made a big name for herself in the north but it hasn't come without a lot of hard work over many years.
Born in the United States, Ryan arrived in Queensland 32 years ago and spent more than 11 years living in Cairns before moving to Tolga on the Atherton Tablelands.
“This is my third Cairns Cup win and it’s been a whole year in the making,” Ryan said.
“It’s a relief to bring it to reality.”
Ryan won her first Cairns Cup with Pretty Fox in 2001 before claiming her second with Seafight five years ago.
Earlier Mareeba sprinter Hidden In Heaven stormed home down the centre of the track to claim the Lightning Handicap.
Ridden by Rhiannon Payne, Hidden In Heaven overcame a wide passage from a wide draw to edge out Confronting by a head over the 950-metre dash.
Platinum Tycoon was third, a further half neck away.
Payne paid tribute to trainer Leanne Ashford.
“She (Ashford) had her on song today but the mare was a bit moody going to the gates and behind the barriers,” she said.
“It’s only 950 metres and one turn and the going was better out wide.
“I just had to keep her balanced.”
Payne said she was relieved to win one of the feature races on Cairns Cup day.
“I’ve had a bit of bad luck lately with placings after placings after placings,” she said.
Hidden In Heaven, a daughter of Hidden Dragon, has done all her racing with Ashford and took her record to seven wins from 22 starts.
Racing Queensland webnews August 11