Sweeney’s Hay day

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Jer­ilderie trainer Phil Sweeney was dom­i­nant at the Hay Gold Cup, win­ning four of the six races at the an­nual race meet­ing on Satur­day.

In­cluded in Sweeney’s swag of vic­to­ries was the $15,000 Gold Cup race, team­ing up with his daugh­ter and jockey Brooke Sweeney, who rode the $3.50 favourite Our Project to a one length win in the main race.

It was a big win for Our Project af­ter a nar­row sec­ond two starts ago in the De­niliquin Cup.

The win on Satur­day was the first for Our Project dur­ing this prepa­ra­tion, which started on June 20.

Ear­lier this month the six year-old geld­ing ran a dis­ap­point­ing ninth over 1300m with 60kgs on his back at Corowa, how­ever on Satur­day he en­joyed the step back to 1400m and a drop in weight to 56kgs.

Trainer Phil Sweeney said it was a good win for Our Project.

‘‘It’s al­ways good to win at Hay, that’s an area where I get a lot of sup­port. I won the Hay Cup with Ruby Di­a­monds in 2013. Brooke also rode her in that Cup win,’’ he said.

Sweeney said Our Project would prob­a­bly ‘‘have an­other crack at a mile’’.

‘‘We’ll give it a few days be­fore we de­cide what I’ll do with him next.’’

Our Project also came third in the Jer­ilderie Gold Cup in Septem­ber, and his last win prior to Satur­day came at Al­bury in Jan­uary.

Race one started with a ‘Sweeney spe­cial’, with Brooke rid­ing $2.50 favourite Del­i­cate Baby to a one length win over Heza Cake Eater in the quick sprint over 800m. It was the first win for the three year-old filly, whose two pre­vi­ous starts at Al­bury were both sev­enth plac­ings.

De­spite not pick­ing up a win in race two, the ‘Sweeney spe­cial’ did man­age a sec­ond plac­ing with Gen­tle­man Char­lie in the 1000m Class 2 Hand­i­cap.

Menindee trainer Wayne Mars­den recorded his only win for the day with Jessie Pre­vails win­ning by a length.

Sweeney only had to wait for the next race to claim a win, this time with Ber­ri­gan’s Bradley Vale on board rid­ing Dream Project to a 11⁄2 length win over Bal­ranald trained Caus­ing Chaos, rid­den by Brooke Sweeney.

Trainer Sweeney’s third win of the day came in race four with an­other favourite Mr Zarmi­dala win­ning by two lengths in the 1200m Bench­mark 58 Hand­i­cap.

This was the first start for the four yearold mare in four weeks and first win since win­ning back to back races in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber.

Sweeney said he was happy with how the day went and stated that it’s hard to get four win­ners on one day.

‘‘I’ve had days like that but they’re quite rare be­cause there’s a bit of com­pe­ti­tion out at Hay,’’ he said.

‘‘One im­por­tant thing was all win­ners drew well at the bar­ri­ers.’’

While a win with Brooke rid­ing one of his horses is al­ways pleas­ing, Sweeney just wants the best for his daugh­ter.

‘‘Any win by Brooke is al­ways a good win re­gard­less of what horse she’s rid­ing,’’ Sweeney said.

The four wins weren’t the only re­cent suc­cess for Sweeney, with Wed­nes­day War­rior, a $14 chance, run­ning sec­ond in race two at Wagga on Mon­day.

Photo cour­tesy Kylie Shaw, Track­pix.

LEFT: Jer­ilderie jockey Brooke Sweeney cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the Hay Gold Cup for her fa­ther Phil on Satur­day.

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