May 15, 2013
By: Rod Nicholson Courtesy of The Herald Sun
THE Brunton clan returned home in a rags to riches story to capture the Listed Warrnambool Cup. The father-son combination of David and Scott departed the 'Bool 18 years ago when, according to Scott, the family was "eating the paint off the wall".
Scott and his mother Julie couldn't contain their joy when Banca Mo ($3.70 favourite) bolted in the 2350m Cup in front of more than 15,000 patrons by five lengths from Muirfield ($26), with Shiny Buttons ($9.50) a length away third.
Shiny Buttons needed to win for trainer Darren Weir to collect a Mercedes Benz.
He won four races leading into the Cup but didn't salute in one of the four features - the Brierly Steeple, Wangoom Handicap, Grand Annual Steeple or Cup.
"Dad was foreman for Noel Kelly at Ballarat and everything was great then. But when he died we were eating the paint off the wall," recalled Scott, now 30.
"I remember stealing spuds from across the road and I had to peel spuds for a couple of weeks to make amends."
The Bruntons departed with three horses but have made a name for themselves in Tasmania.
"We couldn't have won a maiden race at Warrnambool before we left. So to return here today and win the Cup is out of this world. This is an awesome carnival and Banca Mo was our big hope and he didn't let us down," Scott said.
Banca Mo was the form galloper in the race, having won the Pakenham Cup and an open 2000m handicap at Flemington leading into the race.
"We set him for this and he was always looking the winner, with Ben Knobel box seating from barrier 1.
"Most blokes would buy a horse just to win the Warrnambool Cup and I can't tell you how exciting it is for our family," he said.
The victory took the five year old gelding's record to 11 wins and six placings from 21 starts, with prizemoney of $603,000.
Knobel said he was always travelling like a winner.
"This is my biggest win. I knew we were in the money when we straightened for home and he gave his usual big kick. He put a space on them in a couple of strides."