Racing: Melissa Dennett celebrates Bundarra Cup success with Kyrgios

A Coonabarabran Cup tilt could be the next assignment for Kyrgios after the Melissa Dennett-trained gelding won Saturday’s Booroomooka Angus Stud & Addington Station Bundarra Cup (1400m).

Triumphant: Melissa Dennett chats to jockey Luke Cumberland as she unsaddles Kyrgios following his Bundarra Cup win on Saturday.

Triumphant: Melissa Dennett chats to jockey Luke Cumberland as she unsaddles Kyrgios following his Bundarra Cup win on Saturday.

The five-year old bay was a one-and-a-half length winner over Nathan Sinclair’s Our Boy Danny in the $8000 feature, with Clipaholic (Bill Perrett) another two lengths back third. It was Kyrgios’ fifth win in 25 career starts and followed a third in last weekend’s Barraba Cup in what was his second start back from an 11 week spell.

“My aim was the Barraba Cup and obviously then Bundarra. Unfortunately he wasn’t quite ready for Barraba but he still ran a good race,” Dennett said.

That had her reasonably confident going into Saturday.

“I was confident with him but I was a little wary of Our Boy Danny, and carrying no weight on his back that he would be hard to catch like at Barraba,” she said.

The eight-year old gelding was second to Present Sense.

With another week of work and another race under his belt, Dennett said they did change tactics a bit on Saturday.

“For Bundarra we decided to ride him more positive and put him closer to the speed,” she said.

Jockey Luke Cumberland settled him nicely in second behind Our Boy Danny.

“He hit the front probably coming around the last corner and edged clear the last 100m,” Dennett said.

She doesn’t have any firm plans for where Kyrgios’ next start will be.

”The jockey has got off just after and said he’ll probably get to 1600m,” she said.

That would put him in the frame for the Coonabarabran Cup. Dennett also mentioned the Inverell Cup.

For now it’s a matter of waiting and seeing.

”Early in his career he used to fire up in his races,” she said.

“For the last year or so he’s been pretty laid back.”

“Luke said that yesterday he went to sleep halfway through the race.”

Kyrgios was her only runner on Saturday.

It will be a different story this coming weekend with Dennett in for a big three days with the Manilla Cup at Gunnedah on Saturday, Coonamble Gold Cup on Sunday and Armidale on Monday. 

Dennett has nominated “about six or seven” runners across the three days.

Kyrgios’ victory gave Cumberland a double for the day after he piloted Can’t Skate to a half-length win for Colt Prosser in the Wahu Britz Family & Pieces Benchmark 50 Handicap (1000m).

Also claiming fourth in the feature race with Gilded Spirit, Sinclair started the meeting in winning fashion with Going Grey taking out the Bundarra Business Houses & Bundarra Campdraft Club Class 1 Handicap (1000m).

  • The Hunter and North West racing attention turns to Muswellbrook on Monday where the Muswellbrook Jockey Club will run the $35,000 Coolmore Denman Cup. The sixth of seven races, the Les Tilley-trained and Robert Thompson-ridden Another Aan will start the favourite.