Eight Red pockets prize
Monday, 17th March, 2014
By Ethan James
South Australian trainer Kym Healy has won his second St Patrick’s Outback Cup with a horse that he essentially picked up from the scrapheap.
Eight-year-old Eight Red finished strongly down the straight to take the honours in the 1600 metre race on Saturday.
Speaking to the BDT, Healy said he bought the gelding when his future as a racehorse was up in the air.
“I got him about four years ago and he was spelling... but I got the feeling he was in for a massive race today,” Healy said.
Eight Red surged home to win by two lengths ahead of last year’s winner, Tresette. Bellchuca, who shortened to second favourite in the hour before the race, was third
The pre-race favourite Sky Raider ran, who started at $2.20, ran a disappointing second last.
But the day was all about Eight Red.
Healy said he had fine-tuned his training regime in the past few years. He has now won over $100,000 in prizemoney, which included a win as a 10-1 shot in Pt Lincoln this month.
The Strathalbyn trainer also tasted success in the 2012 Cup with Lotto Blues and knows what it takes to succeed on the dirt in Broken Hill.
Interestingly, Eight Red ran in that same race and Healy said there were some similarities between the two horses.
“They have to be a tough horse that can travel well to succeed in these types of races,” he said. “I must love travelling, too... either that or I must be a bit stupid because I probably end up going about 100,000 kilometres on the road every year.”
Jockey Wayne Kerford timed his ride to perfection and said that crossing the line was “as good a feeling as you can get”.
Last year’s Silver City Cup winner Defonet had the lead at the 900m mark but Kerford stuck with the pack before the final burst.
He also paid tribute to the quality of the track following the downpour earlier in the morning.
“It’s easy to come from the back and make ground here... it’s a good track and a good surface,” he said. “I hit the top of the straight and hit a bit of headwind, so I was happy to hit the line.”
Kerford said Eight Red is starting to hit top form.
“He’s a lot better horse as an eight-year-old. He’s matured late in some respects,” he said.
Apart from the Cup winner, Healy had another seven runners and has always been a big supporter of St Pat’s.
Sunny Story won the opening 900m maiden plate, while Little Buster ran fourth in Race Four and Cruziero finished seventh in the main race.
Healy says he’ll continue to field runners and reckons Eight Red has plenty of miles left in his legs.
“I’ll probably take him up to Alice Springs next and then over to Western Australia,” he said. “He’s only eight. There’ll be no retirement just yet.”