By Brennan Ryan
Gumlow trainer Brad Belford landed a feature race quinella in the North Queensland Cup Final at Townsville on Tuesday night when Cult Hero powered away causing a minor upset in defeating a red-hot line up to claim the $11,200 winner’s prize.
With the betting market dominated by the likes of Major Gibson, Murphy Rumble and Bubbles And Brie, a win for a runner outside that top three was to be somewhat of a surprise and a surprise is exactly what the son of Sh Avatar and Flash Glance produced.
The last start heat winner was quickly into stride coming away from box six in trailing the kennelmate and favourite Major Gibson as the field made the charge up towards the top turn.
Cult Hero took the lead coming off the back and charged well clear in the home run to score by more than six lengths from the Major Gibson, with Over Time third running 29.10 seconds.
It was a 23rd victory from 73 starts for Cult Hero, with $62,380 in prize for owner Doug Warrington.
“The box draw was certainly crucial to how the race would pan out,” Belford said.
“I thought once Major Gibson led it was going to be tough for any dog to run him down, though Cult Hero had proved to be stronger and that was case - he has become a handy dog over recent times.
“It was always going to be a tough race to win on the quality of the field that made up the final this year and thankfully we had the numbers on side to help our chances – a quinella was a great result.”
Cult Hero began his career in Brisbane under the guidance of trainer Gerard Bowe, winning 12 races on the south-east tracks before purchased and transferred up to Belford in North Queensland.
Over the race’s 10-year history, Brad Belford has won the time-honoured race on three occasions; firstly with Don’t Listen in 2011 and last year with the great Murphy Rumble.
“The North Queensland Cup is our second biggest race here in Townsville and we’ve been fortunate to win it a few times now – Cult Hero is a real tough chaser and it’s a great reward for Doug,” Brad added.
The features continue in Townsville next Tuesday night with the Townsville Lord Mayor’s Trophy; the open event being staged over 498-metres as the Belford kennel will again line up in the event.