MY LIT­TLE RUN­AWAY

Ex-mayor says shot at Cup is a ‘dream come true’

Sunday Tasmanian - - Front Page - PETER STAPLES BRUT FORCE STUNS IN VIC­TO­RIA DERBY - SPORT

DAYS af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of de­feat in the po­lit­i­cal arena, for­mer mayor Michael Kent is sweat­ing on the Mel­bourne Cup bring­ing him the sweet­est of vic­to­ries.

The ex-Glam­or­gan-Spring Bay mayor is a 25 per cent owner in Mel­bourne Cup hope Run­away and is con­fi­dent the fouryear-old geld­ing, right, trained by Gai Water­houset, can get the job done on Tues­day. “This is a dream come true,” Mr Kent said.

“Hav­ing a run­ner in the Mel­bourne Cup is what every owner dreams of, and to have a run­ner that we be­lieve is a gen­uine win­ning chance is the ic­ing on the cake.”

Run­away is a $34 out­sider be­hind race favourire Yu­catan at $4.80.

IT is every race­horse owner’s dream to have a run­ner in the Mel­bourne Cup, and on Tues­day Tasmanian busi­ness­man Michael Kent will tick that off his bucket list.

Not only that, he be­lieves his horse Run­away can win the world’s rich­est “two mile” hand­i­cap.

Mr Kent was last week de­feated in the race for mayor of the Glam­or­gan-Spring Bay Council by Deb­bie Wisby.

He has a 25 per cent share in promis­ing stayer Run­away, which made his way into the race that stops a na­tion by win­ning the Group 3 Gee­long Cup (2400m) 11 days ago.

It was a ner­vous path for Mr Kent as Run­away, trained by Gai Water­house and Adrian Bott, was un­cer­tain of a Mel­bourne Cup start. But the depar­ture of sev­eral Cup con­tenders paved the way for the geld­ing to take his place in the field of 24.

“This is a dream come true,” Mr Kent said. “I can hardly wait to be at Flem­ing­ton on rac­ing’s big­gest day.

“Hav­ing a run­ner in the Mel­bourne Cup is what every owner dreams of, and to have a run­ner that we be­lieve is a gen­uine win­ning chance is the ic­ing on the cake.”

The may­oral loss was a hard pill to swal­low, but the blow was soft­ened some­what when Run­away was guar­an­teed a start in the Cup.

Run­away emerged as a Cup prospect last sea­son when he won the VRC St Leger over 2800m at Flem­ing­ton and he fol­lowed up with a game third in the South Aus­tralia Derby.

Run­away sig­nalled his ar­rival as a Cup con­tender by win­ning the Group 3 Gee­long Cup last week with the win also earn­ing him a 1.5kg penalty that took his Mel­bourne Cup weight to 52kg.

“We were on ten­ter­hooks for a while and at one stage it looked un­likely that he would gain a start,” Mr Kent said.

“But as of­ten hap­pens in the days lead­ing up to the race there were a few that fell away and their bad luck be­came our good luck.

“It is an amaz­ing feel­ing hav­ing a run­ner in the Mel­bourne Cup, but with that comes an un­be­liev­able amount of angst, be­cause we be­lieve Run­away can win the race.”

Also hold­ing a 25 per cent share in the son of Man­hat­tan Rain is the horse’s breeder Rose­mont Stud, while the re­main­ing 50 per cent is shared be­tween a num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als and syn­di­cates.

Water­house opted to run Run­away in the An­drew Rams­den Hand­i­cap over the Mel­bourne Cup dis­tance (3200m) in May, a week af­ter the SA Derby, but he failed to stay.

“He was at the end of his prepa­ra­tion when he ran in the An­drew Rams­den so it wasn’t a true guide to his abil­ity to run out a strong 3200 me­tres,” Mr Kent said.

“He is a bold fron­trun­ner, so with such a light weight (52kg) he might just run them off their legs.”

Run­away has been backed in to $31 with some of the cor­po­rate book­mak­ers af­ter as much as $51 was of­fered early last week.

Mr Kent, who has owned thor­ough­breds that have won graded races, will travel to Mel­bourne tomorrow and have a quiet evening be­fore mak­ing his way to Flem­ing­ton on Tues­day for what he hopes will be the great­est day of his rac­ing life.

He‘

is a bold fron­trun­ner, so with such a light weight (52kg) he might just run them off their legs. MICHAEL KENT

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