Feb 05, 2017
Courtesy of Tasracing.com.au - 05/02/17. FORMER New Zealand gelding Count Da Vinci gave his young Tasmanian trainer Scott Brunton his biggest pay day when the gelding powered his way to an emphatic win in the Group 3 $200,000 Luxbet Hobart Cup in Hobart on Sunday 5th February 2017.
Allowed to settle second behind stablemate Gladstone, Count Da Vinci ($12) was always travelling like the winner and when jockey David Pires called on the six-year-old for the big effort turning for home he bounded clear and went on to win by 1-1/2 lengths from the favourite Big Duke ($2) with Gladstone ($41) hanging on for third a half-length away.
It was a big day for Brunton who saddled up five winners on the 10-event card but it was the Cup victory that meant the most.
When Count Da Vinci arrived in Tasmania he had won one of 19 starts in NZ and Brunton was uncertain about whether owner Wayne Notman had made a sound investment.
"I took a punt in buying this horse but in the end I asked David to go to New Zealand to ride the horse and give me his assessment before I agreed to buy him and his report was good enough to take the punt," Notman said.
"I bought him to win a Brighton Cup and if he measured up, then a Hobart Cup and today we have achieved our goal and I couldn't be happier."
David Pires also celebrated successive Hobart Cup triumphs having ridden Up Cups to victory last year.
Listen to what trainer Scott Brunton had to say about his first Hobart Cup success.