Kristy Casey, currently the leading trainer in Broome, will hold a strong hand in the $80,000 Broome Cup after she quinellaed the 2020m Kimberley Cup with Stokehouse and Eagle Peak last Saturday.
Casey is having her best season in Broome and her good fortune should continue after Stokehouse’s dazzling performance in winning the cup by five lengths from his stablemate with Yabigorse taking the minor prize.
Stokehouse failed dismally at his first three starts in Broome this season when beaten a total of 46 lengths before showing a glimpse of his best form when third at Port Hedland on July 17.
He was unwanted in the ring on Saturday and gave bookmakers a big result.
However, it was the Stokehouse of old when he had to work hard before getting to the front at the 1600m and from then on the race became a procession with the fiveyear- old leaving his rivals floundering in the straight.
A winner of a group and listed races in Victoria, Stokehouse has yet to race over the 2200m of the Broome Cup but on Saturday’s effort the extra distance shouldn’t present any problems. The only downside to the cup was when the second favourite Prince To King, who would have been a leading fancy for the Broome Cup, broke down in running and had to be retired from the race.
Trainer Gary Gulberti was devastated when Prince To King was led back riderless after being all smiles 40 minutes earlier when his sprinter Ibsen had recorded his fourth successive win in the Quality Sprint.
Ibsen again led all the way to win convincingly from Party Crasher and Prince of Silk and seems certain to be installed a short-priced favourite for the $40,000 Broome Sprint.
Frontrunners have had a great record this season and it was no different on Saturday with five of the seven races won by horses leading. In the other two races the leaders were only caught in the shadows of the post.
A Little Divided, a dismal failure at his previous start, continued the trend when he led and won the maiden by six lengths from Satin Strike and Mister Blister.
The gelding’s win was the first leg of a double for Kristy Casey and also Willie Arnold, who later piloted Stokehouse to victory.
In another form turnaround, Satan’s Playground, who had finished eighth a week earlier, ran his rivals ragged over the 1200m of race two to win by five lengths.
In the following race Cool Eyes opened his winning account after 17 attempts when he led and was successful over 1600m.
Seachanger, who went into race four with a win and three seconds from his four previous starts, deserved his victory when he stormed home to nail the pacemaker Fandangle in the last few strides.
He was well-ridden by Stephen Ridler who completed a double after his earlier win on Satan’s Playground.
The final race had punters on their toes when Stormish and Sassy Street fought out a stirring finish at the end of 1800m.
Sassy Street, who had led from the outset, was challenged by Stormish soon after turning for home and the pair went stride-forstride with the judge calling on the photo to separate them.