OUTSIDER Domidor continued his recent run of good form to secure his second consecutive Bega Cup at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club on Sunday.
Domidor, trained by Matthew Stephens out of Moruya and ridden by apprentice Tash Burleigh, started as a $9 chance in the $35,000 Bega Cheese Bega Cup over 1600 metres, but upstaged $3.60 favourite Fair Nation and in doing so ruined trainer Paul Murray’s hopes of securing a third consecutive cup victory this season.
Fair Nation went into the race having already won the Narooma Cup on January 7, and the Moruya Cup on January 21. The gelding finished a further two lengths clear of second favourite and third placed Quichang ($4), trained by Moruya’s Luke Pepper and ridden by Brodie Loy.
Domidor struggled towards the end of 2012, having finished second last at Kembla Grange on December 15, and at Canberra on December 28, although both over the shorter 1400 metre journey.
The nine-year-old gelding’s first start of the year was in the Narooma Cup, but failed to make an impact finishing second last. The cup was won by Fair Nation, with Quichang finishing second.
Domidor bounced back to form in the 1432 metre Town Plate at Moruya on January 21, and again improved at Kalaru on Sunday.
The Bega Cup, one of the longest running races in Australian history, celebrated its 135th birthday on Sunday.
The race began in 1875, 14 years after Archer won the inaugural Melbourne Cup in 1861.
It is nearly always a great horse like Kingston Town or Black Caviar when the racing stories start, but our local story is about an individual and a life member of the club, Kevin Hetherington.
The 82-year-old has been to a few Bega Cups in his day, with Sunday’s event being his 70th. He attended his first Bega Cup as a 12-year-old in the 1940s and has backed up every year since.
Meanwhile, the $20,000 Sky Racing Gold Sapphire Coast Cup provided a blanket finish with the top three crossing within a half-length of each other.
Winner Street Spirit ($8), trained by Mick Smith, beat $4 favourite Continental Flyer, trained by Bede Murray, by a long head, with Emperator ($6.50), trained by Terry Robinson, finishing a further long head away in third place.
Meanwhile, the Murray (Kembla Grange) trained Devon ($13) won the other feature event of the day, the $23,000 Betta Home Living Town Plate.
Devon defeated General Jay Dee ($6.50), trained by Keith Dryden, with I’ve Got A Secret, trained by Mick Smith, finishing third.
Despite overcast conditions, many punters flocked to the track to witness one of, it not the biggest, meetings held at Kalaru.
The event itself was buoyed by an electric atmosphere as race-goers enjoyed the afternoon’s racing.
The next event will be the Merimbula Cup meeting on March 8, followed by the senior citizens race day on March 25.