By Steve Cuff
LOCAL trainer Kevin Byrne from Jindabyne finally won the big prize at Cooma’s Ti Tree Racecourse, when his horse Orsippus won the 25th running of the Sundowners Cup.
It proved to be a great day for the family with Kevin winning an earlier race with Force Awakens and son Blake winning the best dressed couple with Nadean Love in Fashions on the Field.
Snowy Mountains Magazine talked to Kevin immediately after the race and when asked about saddling up a double, he said, “It’s worked out great, I haven’t had one (win) for quite a while, so it’s worked out good.”
“Especially being your home track and everything, all the work that people do here, and you know them all. It’s really special, yeah.”
Kevin said he had never won the Sundowners Cup before in all his years training, “As I said it’s always good to win a local race, and that’s just icing on the cake, that is. Very pleasing.”
He said he was not worried when coming down the straight and soon as he got to the front he was right, “That was the main worry, getting him to the front.”
When asked does the prize money come in handy, he said “Doesn’t it what…”
Owner Craig Wunsch said, “It was a fantastic effort by the trainer, the jockey (Kacie Adams) and it’s a great iconic race the club puts on, it’s fantastic race, we have come here a couple of times trying to win it, we got it this time and it’s the twenty fifth year, so that’s fantastic.”
I also want to thank the track staff who do a magnificent job preparing the track.”
Craig said they have had a number of horses over the years with the trainer, stating, “Kevin’s a very good horseman, an original Man from Snowy River type horseman, understands the horses and Kevin is the guy who would stop the truck on a cold day to make sure the horses were the right temperature, so a real horse lover. A lot of this goes to him, I just own the horse.”
Craig said, “Orsippus was a very well-bred horse that came from Sydney, and it will go back the other way, its only had a couple or runs and has a lot of improvement in it. We will go back to Canberra or Queanbeyan and have a crack there, and I promised the jockey I would get her a ride in Sydney to give her some profile.”
A huge crowd turned out for the annual race day, with the bookie undercover enclosure busy from the start. The marque tents were bustling with people on what was a perfect blue-sky racing day.
Special guest and former supermodel Anneliese Seubert judged the popular Fashions in the Fields. Anneliese who grew up in Cooma when her family moved from Germany has always been generous with her time for Cooma, and resides now in Canberra.
“This is my first time judging fashions in the field, and I am looking for something stylish, following some rules of the race code of etiquette, but also maybe with a little twist, a modern twist.”
Anneliese Seubert with Fashions in the Field best dressed winner Lauren McMahon.
In the other major feature race, the High Country Subaru Cooma Cup, Girls Own won the event for trainers Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones, with jockey Patrick Scorse guiding the horse home. The Cooma Cup was celebrating it’s 160th year.
See a selection of pictures from the day. Click on images above to enlarge slide show.