Feb 24, 2016
Courtesy of Tasracing.com.au 24/02/16. UP CUPS gave Hall of Fame trainer David Brunton his biggest pay day when he powered his way to a narrow but courageous win in the $200,000 Group 3 Betfair Exchange Launceston Cup over 2400 metres today.
The victory not only etched the locally-bred gelding's name in the record books as only the fifth horse to win both major cups in the same season but it also netted connections a $100,000 cash bonus offered by wagering operator UBET of which half goes to the trainer and the balance to the owners.
"This horse is an absolute ripper and who would have thought that we were close to giving him away just over a year ago when he'd lost all form," Brunton said.
Up Cups was a big drifter in betting easing from $4.50 to start at $8.10 most likely because of the constant rain that turned the track rating from a good 4 to a heavy 8 by cup start time.
"We weren't worried about the rain because we knew he could handle rain-affected ground but it was that wide barrier but David (Pires) managed to get him into a great spot early and the horse did the rest," the trainer said.
Up Cups settled sixth one off with cover and when Pires hit the go button 500 metres out the gelding sprinted quickly to stake his claim.
Gladstone hit the front at the top of the home straight but Up Cups powered home and had enough in reserve to stave off a late bid by Victorian mare Arianne to score by a half neck with another Victorian Schockemohle almost two lengths away third.
"Every local jockey wants to win one of the major cups and this horse has given me both in the space of two weeks," Pires said.
"There's no doubt Up Cups will hold a special place in my heart from now on"