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