A plan four months in the making came to fruition in grand style for Glen Innes trainer Paddy Cunningham on Monday.
Cunningham’s emerging talent Carry On Jake justified the confidence of the astute horseman as he made a one-act affair of the $40,000 Armidale Cup (1900m).
Carry On Jake ($4.40fav) never looked like being beaten on his way to a dominant 3 ¼ length triumph from $21 shot Packen, with Settle The Future ($8) rounding out the trifecta.
The writing for his rivals was on the wall when jockey Jackson Murphy grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck and never looked back.
Carry On Jake completed the Guyra-Armidale Cup double and continues the Midas-like touch on country features for Cunningham.
“We’ve had a good run,” Cunningham said.
“When he won the Class 2 here by eight lengths (back in November) I thought I had an Armidale Cup horse.
“We spelled him before he was completely stuffed and he’s come back to complete the Guyra-Armidale Cup double.”
Carry On Jake sealed Cunningham’s first win as a trainer, but his third overall after tasting success in the race twice as a jockey.
“It’s been good to me,” he said.
Winning jockey Murphy beamed a great smile as he returned to scale following a race time of 2.02.83 on the Soft 7 track.
“He gave me plenty of confidence,” Murphy said.
“He did it that easy, he seemed to relax and got through the ground very nice.
“You don’t win these races very often, let alone get a ride in them, I’ve got to thank Paddy because it’s a great thrill.”
Carry On Jake lifted his career record to five wins from 19 starts courtesy of Monday’s success.
The first prize cheque of $22200 lifts the son of Great Britain-bred stallion Carry The Flag’s earnings to just shy of the $100,000 mark.
“His full brother ran third in a Group One as a two-year-old, so we always thought he would have ability,” Cunningham said.
“Early on he struggled to get 1100m, but his owner kept saying he’ll get ground.
“As we stepped him up in trip he got better and learned how to gallop properly.”