Trainers Adam Durrant and Ben Pearce took out the two feature races at Geraldton yesterday, with success in the $90,000 Geraldton Cup 2100m and the $75,000 Batavia Sprint 1300m respectively.
It was a game effort from Ora Dare ($3.50 fav) in the Cup, looking gone on the turn before spirited riding from Peter Hall lifted the Oratorio 5yo over the concluding stages to chase down a brave Paseo Del Prado ($4.70) who seemed to have the race won at the 200m before peaking on its run.
Friarday ($10.50) rattled home into third, while the best of the local hopes Confucius ($5.70) failed to finish off the race after hitting the front on turning only to fall into fourth.
“We pretty much conceded (defeat) at the top of the straight” said Durrant following the race, “but credit to the horses ability to find an extra gear inside the final furlong”.
It has been an incredible month for the Durrant team, having conquered the Mount Barker Cup with Marden and the Bunbury Cup with Tick Tick Bloom, who also took out the Bunbury AHA Cup.
The Cup win was the second leg of a Durrant/Hall double on the day, having paired up earlier to take out the opener with Socially Unique.
In the other feature, Ben Pearce was wrapped with the performance of Zentsov 4yo Mad Brad ($2.80 fav) who dug in deep under desperate riding from local hoop Dom Tourneur to hold out the fast finishing Zester ($8.90) in the Batavia Sprint.
“He literally returned to scale on three legs which made to win even more impressive” said Pearce, following a torrid run in transit from the gelding.
“We will get him checked out tomorrow, and he will go straight to the paddock”.
Returning to his home track for Cup Day, Tourneur did not let his supporters down having also won the race prior aboard Carniolan ($5.50) for resident trainer Tony Scally to secure a race to race double in the saddle.