ALBURY trainer Kym Davison was gobsmacked when rank outsider Dudley Breeze charged down the outside to win the Adrian Ledger Memorial.
The $41 chance with Brad Clark aboard took a series of short cuts to charge clear over the John Ledger trained Justiceforall ($6) and a further 1¾ lengths to Go Get ‘em ($6) who was scratched from the Cup to run in the 2400m staying test held earlier in the day.
Two starts ago the five-year-old gelding was beaten more than 15 lengths over 2000m at Albury by one of his rivals Game of Shadows.
But Davison said the further they went the better for Dudley Breeze.
“The horse has always wanted a mile and a half but you just don’t get this type of races in the bush that often,” he said.
“So we had this race in the back of our mind and we just had to cross our fingers and hope that we got a run.
“He would have been right on the borderline but we got a run and here we are — in the winner’s circle.
“He’s a one pacer who will keep going all day and there are some nice races coming at Wagga over the winter and over a bit of distance and that’s the next aim at this stage.”
Davison said it was a carnival that was getting tougher to win a major race but that local trainers needed to lift.
“It’s special to win on Albury Cup Day, I’m only a small trainer with just eight in work and six of them have raced over the carnival,” he said.
“You have to accept that the bigger prizemoney is going to attract better fields, better horses so that means we have to lift our game.
“The only problem for me was that he is the only one we haven’t backed over the two days.”
Winning jockey Clark said he just kept getting inside runs but had always wanted to win the race named after his former rival who died after a race fall at Corowa 10 years ago.
“He was just like the rest of the Ledger family — a true blue Aussie champion,” he said.
“It’s a dangerous caper we all know that and I’ve only been able to get a couple of rides in this race so to win it is a real bonus.
“He settled in the back half of the field and we had to pray for some luck and the runs just kept opening up for him.”
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