IT was Stawell-based trainer Dane Smith's horse San Remo that conquered the first Bet365 Ararat Gold Cup Sir Brudenell White 3800 metre race on Sunday at Ararat.
The horse and jockey Clayton Douglas managed the extraordinary distance with ease, with second finisher Golden Flag crossing the line a full 1.8L behind.
The race was intended to be a qualifier for the long distance Jericho Cup, held in Warrnambool, but unfortunately San Remo cannot qualify, Smith said.
"Unfortunately he's not eligible for a Jericho Cup because he's European bred but we'll probably pick the eyes out of another one and send him jumping next year," he said.
Despite that, Smith and the owners were very happy with the win despite bit of a rough start earlier on.
"We applied blinkers back on the horse; he was a bit flat last start so today we applied blinkers which was bit of a brave move but it paid off in trumps," he said.
"We've very happy with the win.
"He controlled the race ... and took over and won, so we're very happy."
Smith has been training the horse for a relatively short time.
"We've had the horse probably 12 months," he said.
"He's been a good little asset - he's won two for us.
"He likes the distance.
"The flat aspect of it is what he's been screaming out for."
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One of the owners, Rohan McDonald said there was "nothing better than getting a win on Ararat Cup day."
"Thanks to (Ararat Turf Club president) Bruce McDougall for organising this 3800 metre race," he said.
"It's a great concept and hopefully it continues.
"Today he showed us he can race 3800 metres and carry 70 kilograms, which is pretty awesome.
"We know he can jump so we've got pretty exciting times ahead."
The owners bought the six-year-old horse in February but were already experiencing success.
"We were going to pay no more than $20,000 but we got a bit drunk and we paid $42,000 in an online auction," McDonald said.
"We turned up with him and ran at Stawell, but he only finished three lengths off Surprise Baby in Melbourne.
"So he's close but he's just not that class horse. He's a good horse that will run all day."
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