Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - SPORT - By JAMIE LOWE

It was a day of firsts at the De­niliquin Caulfield Cup Race Day on Satur­day with Gun­bower horse King’s Hand claim­ing the De­niliquin Cup.

It was the six year-old geld­ing’s first visit to Deni, with trainer/owner John Pear­son mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance at the Deni track since 1988.

Rid­ing the cup win­ner was jockey Juana An­dreou, at her first meet­ing fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of her ap­pren­tice­ship, who had her first cup win­ning ride.

‘‘To win the cup race on my first se­nior race meet­ing is pretty ex­cit­ing,’’ An­dreou said af­ter the race.

‘‘It’s my first time in Deni as well, so that’s not a bad first time here.

‘‘I haven’t had a win­ner all day, but I joked be­fore­hand that I would be okay as long as I won the cup race.

‘‘Hope­fully it can be the first of a few cup wins dur­ing my ca­reer.’’

It was a tight race through­out with Jer­ilderie trained Our Pro­ject han­dling the soft 5 track well and lead­ing for a ma­jor­ity of the way.

Com­ing into the home stretch, Our Pro­ject held a slen­der lead be­fore King’s Hand made his move.

It was neck-and-neck com­ing to the post with King’s Hand just get­ting in front by a nose.

Squeaky Squir­rel fin­ished two lengths be­hind the win­ner in third.

Lo­cal horse Senor Juez ($13) un­for­tu­nately couldn’t get his rhythm go­ing, fall­ing 12 lengths short in sev­enth place, while de­fend­ing cham­pion Shy Frank was never in con­tention, fin­ish­ing last af­ter a slow start on the damp track.

Race 1, Maiden Handicap (1000m): Rea­zon ($7), 1st; Real Royal ($12), 2nd; Bian­barnie ($5.50), 3rd; Dream Pro­ject ($4.60), 4th; Wal­lach ($8), 5th.

Race 2, Bench­mark 50 Handicap (1200m): Smokey Ora ($5), 1st; Ju­nior Mac ($7), 2nd; En­conti ($7), 3rd; Never Tempted ($14), 4th; Tis Pos­si­ble ($5), 5th.

Race 3, Maiden Plate (1400m): Call Me Spice ($4.20), 1st; Stella Vi­tae ($4.20), 2nd; Cheap Choice ($3.80), 3rd; Street Prince ($6), 4th; Ten­nessee Dancer ($4.20), 5th.

Race 4, Class 3 Handicap (1600m): Magic Pe­ga­sus ($4), 1st; Kapover ($3.20), 2nd; Arel­lano ($3.70), 3rd; Ad­mis­sion ($9), 4th; Johnny the Cashman ($4.20), 5th.

Race 5, Par­away Pas­toral De­niliquin Cup (1400m): King’s Hand ($4), 1st; Our Pro­ject ($8), 2nd; Squeaky Squir­rel ($5.50), 3rd; Lit­tle Jatz ($12), 4th; Greipel ($3), 5th.

Race 6, Bench­mark 50 Handicap (2100m): Asquil­lion ($2.50), 1st; Bel­tum ($5), 2nd; Great Bay ($4.40), 3rd; Shadow Omen ($4.60), 4th; Al Ger­ard ($4.40), 5th.

King’s Hand (5), rid­den by Juana An­dreou, pipped Our Pro­ject at the post, with Squeaky Squir­rel not too far be­hind.

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