VICTORIAN mare Epingle will chase an elusive $100,000 bonus after scoring a dominant win in an historic $225,000 Hobart Cup at Elwick last night.
The race, postponed from last Sunday due a freak wind storm, was run in the twilight zone for the first time and saw Epingle score a three-length win over local brother and sister Geegees Blackflash and Gee Gee's La Quita.
Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent confirmed later that Epingle would stay for the Launceston Cup on Wednesday week.
Tattsbet has offered a $100,000 bonus if the same horse wins both races.
If Epingle can become the first horse since Zacielo in 2004 to complete the double, she will have earned $370,000 during her brief stay in Tasmania.
Kent said that he had given some thought to taking Epingle home for last Wednesday's Mornington Cup ``but I'm pleased we decided to stay''.
``To get a stakes win with this mare is very important for the owners - she has been placed three or four times,'' the trainer said.
``She has taken time to mature and we've only been able to get her out to 2400 metres twice - for a second in the Sandown Classic and now today's win.
``Now that she's at that distance, she will show her true form.''
Kent said that he had enjoyed ``a lot of luck'' with yesterday's winning jockey Craig Williams but is unsure whether he will return for the Launceston Cup.
``Craig is off to Hong Kong tomorrow - you never know where he's going to be next,'' the trainer said.
Williams had previously won the Hobart Cup on Offenbach (2008) and Gotta Keep Cool (2009).
He described his latest win as ``very dominant''.
``She enjoyed a good run but I had to start chasing The Cleaner coming to the home turn because I knew he was a good front-runner and didn't want to let him get away,'' Williams said.
``But, she went to him very quickly and I ended up in front a bit too early.
``I had to give her a little reminder in the straight, then she went to the line very strongly.''
Geegees Blackflash came from last to record his third top-three finish in the race. He won in 2012 and ran third last year.
Turning for home, he briefly looked a winning chance but his big weight told over the last 200m.
Gee Gee's La Quita finished well to grab third place from Victorian Surpass in a photo-finish.
The Cleaner dropped out to run fifth, beaten 6- 1/2 lengths, and the heavily-backed Magnapal struggled into a disappointing sixth.
In a spin
BRENDAN McShane scored one of his biggest wins as a jockey on Someos in the 1986 Strutt Stakes.
Yesterday he scored one of his biggest wins as a trainer when Spinning Jenny took out the $100,000 fillies' classic in a blanket finish.
Less than a length separated the first five placegetters as Spinning Jenny, ridden by apprentice Bulent Muhcu, snuck home ahead of Iggimacool, Geegees Velvet, Pressure Down and At The Weekend.
McShane has big plans for the winner and they may not include the obvious target, the Tasmanian Oaks, at Mowbray on Wednesday week.
``I'm not dismissing that race but we're really looking at richer Oaks races interstate - either Adelaide or Sydney,'' McShane said.
``Which one we chase will depend on the lead-up races that are available in Victoria.
``But we will look to see if the Tassie Oaks fits into our plan.''
FORMER Launceston jockey Luke Currie has enjoyed a successful career in Victoria and overseas but hasn't had much joy in feature races in his home state.
That changed yesterday when he gave a copybook display on Victorian gelding Road Trippin' to win the $100,000 Thomas Lyons.
He gave Road Trippin' a box-seat run in third place before getting a rails run in the home straight.
The well-backed $3 favourite went on to score by almost a length from gallant local outsider Jakcorijim, with a similar margin to top mare Rebel Bride.
Currie said that Road Trippin' would stay in Tasmania for the George Adams at Mowbray on Launceston Cup day but he was unsure whether he'd keep the ride.
Craig Newitt had originally been booked for the Thomas Lyons but was unable to return last night due to commitments at Moonee Valley.
Road Trippin' is trained by Stephen Theodore who, like Kent, is based at Cranbourne.
Theodore's father Les has been looking after the horse in Tasmania and said connections were ``tickled pink'' with the win.
``This is our favourite horse - Stephen bought him as a yearling - and it's good to see him crack a big one,'' he said.
``We've had the two Tasmanian weight-for-age races in our mind for the past couple of months so he will be staying for Launceston.''