Trainer Adam Durrant completed back- to-back Diggers Cup victories when Tower of Lonhro (Peter Hall) proved too strong beating Dabang and Ask Me Nicely.
Durrant had also won the 1800m race last year with Peck.
In the trainer’s absence stable foreman, Jason Miller, said the race panned out as expected. “It was a small but even field of runners and we expected him to get back and run on.”
That is exactly what happened and, with only Ask Me Nicely behind him, Tower of Lonhro stayed in second last position until the turn. Hall said he knew he had it won by the final 200m mark of the race when Dabang could offer no further resistance, although trainer Shane Quilty was happy with the runner-up and stablemate Fancy Feet (fourth).
Miller said that the winner carried the 59kg top weight well-being a big strong horse and the 1800m distance was never an issue.
Dabang just held on to second from Ask Me Nicely who worked home well pleasing both jockey Shaun O’Donnell and trainer Fred Kersley after winning over 3200m at his previous start.
Kersley said his WA Cup winner would appreciate going over more ground at Belmont in a fortnight.
The Durrant stable also celebrated later in the day when Zuccheros (William Pike) sprouted wings in the concluding stages, coming from last to first to win the Anzac Centenary Handicap (1500m).
Apprentice rider Jake Casey continues to put up good performances, landing a double with Detection and New Time, the latter romping in.
His win with Detection was his first with trainer Kristy Casey. “Jake was told to bide his time before challenging and he did that behind perfectly the pacemaker before squeezing up on the rails,” she said.
Emma Stent was another apprentice to impress trainer Ross Price. She had some anxious moments though aboard Willow Bridge, in the Salute the Anzacs Handicap (1800m), having to ease off heels to go between Bolting and Night Prowler to chase down Muskets at Dawn, a galloper who finished second for the sixth time in nine starts.
Trainer Shane Quilty was given no worries with Infathuated who bowled along in front to easily win the Westspeed Handicap (1500m) for apprentice Jordan Turner. It was the gelding’s third win from his last four starts.
“Jordie rode him perfectly and the penny has dropped with this horse. He has taken a while to mature, and today the 3kg weight claim and a weaker class all helped,” Quilty said.