Forbes-trained gelding General Hirad made up for an unlucky run in his home town cup by scoring a narrow but decisive win against a quality field in the $26,000 Sky Channel Narromine Gold Cup (1600m) on Sunday.
The five-year-old Refuse To Bend (IRE) x Epicomic gelding, prepared by Frank Hayes, was given a cosy run by jockey Mathew Cahill, who took a sit behind the solid tempo set by Cosmic Fury and produced General Hirad ($11.00) at just the right time.
At his most recent outing, General Hirad finished eighth, beaten less than three lengths, behind Dane’s Jewel in the Forbes Cup after struggling to get a clear run in the home straight.
But there were no such dramas on Sunday as Cahill had the gelding in the perfect position throughout and he had enough petrol in the tank to hold off outsider Gold Sultan ($71.00, Anthony Cavallo) in a driving finish.
Cosmic Fury ($5.50, Simon Miller) held on well for third while the $4.60 race favourite Our Billy Blue ended up fifth.
The win was Cahill’s third in the race and he admitted the win gave him a great deal of satisfaction.
“I’ve won three races on this horse now for Frank and he keeps improving,” Cahill said.
“I spoke to Frank and also Kevin Sweeney, who rode him at Forbes, and they both said he was unlucky so I wanted to make sure I had him in a good spot.
“He was badly weighted compared to Dane’s Jewel, which won the Forbes race, and some of the other runners but he’s a horse with a bit of upside and even though he didn’t win by far, he won by far enough.”
The other feature event on the program, the $15,000 Narromine Newmarket (800m), was taken out by consistent speedster School Prince, which was trained at Rylstone by Les Willis and had Anthony Cavallo in the saddle.
Meanwhile, racing at Narromine was held up for a period of time after the first race when it was discovered a section of the track in the home straight was soaked with water.
Jockeys and stewards inspected the area before installing a false rail so runners would avoid that particular section of the course and allow racing to continue.