Leeton trainer Peter Clancy has dedicated his first Jerilderie Gold Cup win to his late wife Nerrida.
Clancy’s horse Zarreig blitzed the field by three lengths when he shot away over the concluding stages of the cup on Saturday.
Clancy said he and his wife bred Zarreig, which was owned by Nerrida before her death in January.
‘‘We were married for about 56 years and both had a love for racing; we bred a lot of horses at one stage with two stallions. Certain mares were Nerrida’s and Zarreig was one of the horses from her mares.
‘‘It would be a very big win for her,’’ Clancy said.
Apprentice jockey Josh Richards was able to claim his two kilograms on the 10 year-old gelding and took advantage to bring his weight from 54kg to 52kg.
The claim worked as favourite Greipel carrying 61kg finished second.
Clancy said he was happy to win at a track he considers ‘local’.
‘‘It’s a good feeling to win the Jerilderie Gold Cup because I’ve been around a while and that’s the first one I’ve won,’’ Clancy said.
‘‘It’s pretty much a local meeting for me coming from Leeton. Any of these tracks within an hour and a half drive are just like home.
‘‘Josh rode him really well because he isn’t an easy horse to ride.
‘‘He’s a horse that doesn’t always try so you have to ride him a certain way.
‘‘He won the Berrigan Cup two years ago so we could again target that moving forward,’’ Clancy said.
Richards said he knew early in the race Zarreig would go close to winning.
‘‘He began like he usually does and I was able to get him into a nice spot behind the leader, not too far way.
‘‘On the corner he was on their tail and going along at a good speed; he just went up to the leaders and picked them up pretty easily.
‘‘It’s good to win a feature race early in the season and hopefully we can win a few more of them,’’ Richards said.
Jerilderie trainer Phil Sweeney’s Our Project finished third in the main race.
Sweeney’s second starter Financial Miss led around the main turn but couldn’t hold on to a placing, finishing fourth.
Fellow Jerilderie trainer Ross Purcell’s chance Saint Aquilina finished fifth and Berrigan trainer Paul McVicar’s Hakerak had to settle with seventh.
(From left) Jerilderie Gold Cup sponsor Chris Noack, trainer Peter Clancy, jockey Josh Richards and Jerilderie Race Club president Des McRae.