Up Cups realises Brunton’s Hobart Cup dream

Feb 09, 2016

Courtesy of Tasracing.com.au 09/02/16. HALL of Fame thoroughbred mentor David Brunton celebrated one of his greatest triumphs as a trainer when his rejuvenated gelding Up Cups scored a brilliant win in the Group 3 $200,000 Betfair Exchange Hobart Cup (2400m) at UBET Park Hobart today.

Up Cups scored by a half-length from the Stuart Gandy-trained Geegees Goldengirl with interstate invader Beliveau (Michelle Payne) a close-up third.

Brunton has longed to win what he now calls his home town cup and to do it with a horse that was close to being sacked just over a year ago almost brought tears to his eyes.

"We took this horse to Longford just over a year ago to run in a lowly benchmark race and I fully expected not to take him back home and that he would embark on a career as a pony club horse," Brunton said.

"He had been racing without much purpose so we planned to lead with him but he missed the start by three lengths."

"But much to our surprise he flashed home and won and he's been winning ever since," he said.

Brunton, who relocated his family to Tasmania close to 20 years ago from country Victoria, has saddled up numerous runners in the Hobart Cup but has had no luck in the race until today.

"I've won a Hobart Cup so now I can go back into retirement and give the horse back to my son Scott to train," he said with a wry smile.

Brunton won the Launceston Cup with Prevailing three years ago and the Devonport Cup last year with Lander Dollar so the Hobart Cup was the only major cup he had yet to secure.

"I am also rapt for the owners Rick and Tina Polley who have had a tough time of it this week with Tina's dad passing away two days ago."

"This might help them get through what has been a very tough time for the whole family," he said.

It was also rider David Pires' biggest win.

"I won the jockeys premiership last season and that was a real high point but winning the Hobart Cup is now my biggest achievement," Pires said.

"To win it on Up Cups also is special because this horse was close to be sacked just over a year ago and this time in he's won a Brighton Cup, Summer Cup and a Hobart Cup and he'll probably go and win the Launceston Cup," he said.