Geelong trainer Michael Roebuck claims biggest win with Bel Burgess in Wodonga Gold Cup

HAPPY DAYS: Trainer Michael Roebuck (left) and jockey Damien Thornton celebrate the Wodonga Gold Cup. Picture: MARK JESSER
HAPPY DAYS: Trainer Michael Roebuck (left) and jockey Damien Thornton celebrate the Wodonga Gold Cup. Picture: MARK JESSER

Geelong trainer Michael Roebuck has claimed his biggest win with Bel Burgess in the $90,000 Wodonga Gold Cup (1590m).

The $10 chance, with in-form jockey Damien Thornton on board, posted a 1½ length win over Hot Ruby ($19), with the Michael Moroney-trained Strike Force ($4.80) a head further back in third.

Linguist ($2.80F) finished fifth, with 2015 winner Master Reset scratched.

“It’s very pleasing, I actually bought him here when he had his fifth start for 2000m, he was $1.90F, didn’t even run the first race and I didn’t think I’d be bringing him back here,” Roebuck said.

“He’s got a good mile record, he finished a length and a half (from winning) his last mile start at Caulfield.

“It was pretty straightforward (today), straight to the front, made it pretty hard for them to run down.”

The five-year old’s sixth win from 19 starts has now pushed him past the $200,000 mark in pirizemoney.

“That’s the way he likes to roll out in front and once he got to the front around the bend, he gave a good kick off the corner and he was good enough to hold on to win,” Roebuck said.

“I was pretty confident on the bend because he was on the bridle for a fair way into the home straight.

“I knew he had a long sustained run and it was a good win.”

The win also guaranteed a VOBIS Gold bonus, part of the more than $8.5 million over the state’s 2017-18 racing season.

Roebuck has been training around seven years with the $49,500 win his greatest thrill.

“Obviously a young trainer and you just want to win races like this, I’m rapt for the owners and it was a good result,” he said.

Bel Burgess was sired by Bel Esprit, which almost six years ago sat third on the Australian sires’ premiership behind Fastnet Rock and Redoute’s Choice.

Roebuck is uncertain of his short-term plans for the horse.

“I don’t want to run him too much on hard tracks, he’s just come back from joint surgery,” Roebuck said.

“I suppose the ultimate goal would be the $250,000 race he ran when he ran second in March.

“It’s over soft tracks so that will probably be more suitable.”

Bel Burgess finished 11th and 14th in his last two starts before he was freshened up with a four-week break.

He returned to snare fourth at Ararat almost a fortnight ago over 1300m.

The only negative was when Bel Burgess was spooked by something in the mounting yard and started to kick, forcing a stunned Thornton to jump off.

“I won’t know (what happened there) until later, I won’t worry about that at the moment, I’ll celebrate the win first,” Roebuck said.