It's Heptagon's Cup: Favourite wins first $100,000 race


WINNING IS A LONELY BUSINESS: Heptagon (Jimmy Choux), ridden by Michael Dee, wins the Moama Bowling Club Echuca Cup by a country mile at Echuca Racecourse yesterday, becoming the first horse to win a $100,000 race at the Echuca track. Photo: Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos


HEPTAGON, a very short-priced favourite, literally ran away with the $100,000 Moama Bowling Club Echuca Cup yesterday, winning by 3¼ lengths - and that was after being eased down with 50m to go.

But there was a brief moment when punters - and the stable - must have had their hearts in their mouths.

In a field gutted by three scratchings on race day there were only eight starters in Echuca Racing Club's first $100,000 cup and it looked as though the other seven had ganged up to be an impassable wall for Heptagon, trapped back near the fence as the field turned for home.

An incredibly cool and patient Michael Dee simply kept the horse hovering and at the 200m mark he got his gap and the race was over.

"I thought we were always travelling like a winner but yes, at the turn I couldn't see daylight and I did have a few bad thoughts," Dee said after the win.

"So we just had to wait for the runs to open and luckily for me one did near the end," he said.

"And geez, he sprinted well when he got through that gap and it was never in doubt.

"He stepped up to the mile last start and didn't finish like he can, like he did just then, so he was well placed by Mick (trainer Mick Price) with a little freshen up and back to the 1400m.

"I have been out of the winner's circle for a little while too, so it was good to get one here on Echuca Cup day."

Once clear Heptagon exploded into the lead and spread-eagled the field behind him.

Not only was his winning margin so big, the gap between second and third was 2¼ lengths as the field imploded trying to go with the pace.

Steve Hunter from the Mick Price stable praised Dee, saying it was a good ride.

"With about five seconds of doubt there - when the field turned for home and Heptagon was lost behind a wall of five horses," he added.

"But that was soon gone," Hunter grinned.

"This is a horse with a fair bit of ability and coming back to the 1400m, well I think that is his true trip and he's going well," he said.

"We are pretty happy with him this time in; he has shown a lot of form this preparation."



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