A $101 chance from Goulburn, who only travelled south as a support act, has claimed the $35,000 Corowa Cup (1600m).
Five-year old Nagging consigned Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy to another gut-wrenching Cup finish with Pittsburgh ($6.50) beaten by 0.8 length, with home track trainer Geoff Duryea’s Tudor Rule ($13) third.
McCarthy’s Ashdam was first across the line last year, but was disqualified after the jockey weighed in 600 grams light.
“We mainly went to Corowa for the two-year old race,” Nagging’s trainer Mark Gee said.
“There were two under 1000m races for two-year old maidens in NSW, one was at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, one was at Corowa on Saturday, so we opted for Corowa.
“The Cup was just a bonus.”
It was Nagging’s first win since Moruya on May 29, 2016.
“It was a fantastic performance, I think she was probably a bit out of the odds to be honest with you, although she’d been a bit out of form, the last run was reasonable,” Gee said.
“She’s a pretty good horse, at the end of her three-year old season, she was placing in town.
“She was knocking on the door at Warwick Farm.
“Through a few different circumstances she just ended up having a year off racing, just minor little issues.
“We nearly got her right and then she had to go back to the paddock.”
Nagging’s best finish since that 54-week spell was a sixth placing at Wagga on January 12.
“We were back to the old way she’s always been ridden and that’s quiet and down the outside,” Gee said.
‘She certainly wasn’t drawing away from the field, but she held them at bay, she certainly wasn’t going to get beaten.
“She got to the front with a swooping run around the 150m mark.
“It was Michael Heagney’s first ride that he had for me, I thought he rode her a treat.”
It capped an outstanding meet for Gee, who’d never had a runner at Corowa.
All About Belle ($1.45F) started the day in style, toppling Dobe Super ($21) and Kitso Supreme ($14).
“Our horse started short price favourite because it trialled quite well with a group horse at Goulburn,” Gee said.
“She really only needed to take that trial form to the races, but you never actually know until they can do that in a race.”
Wodonga trainer Peter Maher claimed the 1000m maiden with Blind Turn, while Duryea’s Carlistos won the Class Two Handicap over 1600m.
It was the first time the Corowa Cup meet had been held on a Saturday.