‘Absolute thrill’ as Collins and Richards combine to win Gundagai Cup

Josh Richards guides the Maddy Collins-trained The Doctor’s Son to a win in Sunday’s $36,000 Gundagai Cup.

Wagga couple Maddy Collins and Josh Richards have enjoyed their most significant win together, with The Doctor’s Son leading all the way to win the $36,000 Gundagai Cup (1700m) on Sunday. 

Richards was in the saddle, and he was able to find the front comfortably from gate two, and from there, the eight-year-old did it as easily as you would like, with The Doctor’s Son ($10) winning by 1.73 lengths from the Rob Potter-trained Milamoo (Damon Budler, $5.50), while 2.12 lengths back in third was the Mitch Beer-trained Scarlet Prince (Nick Souquet, $2.25).

“It’s an absolute thrill,” Collins told NSW Country and Picnic Racing after the win. 

“This is the biggest win of my short training career, and it’s also great to have Josh on board.”

The Doctor’s Son has been a good performer over the years, winning the 2020 Murrumbidgee Cup and Bathurst Panorama while finishing third in the 2021 Albury Gold Cup for his former trainer John Whitelaw.

It was only the gelding’s second start for Collins, but she explained that the pair go back a long way. 

“It’s just unbelievable. I have a lot of history with the horse; I rode his trackwork for a couple of years, and it’s just great to get this win with him, and it’s even better to have Josh on board and to be able to do it together,” Collins said. 

“We came here confident. We drew the nice barrier, and he has been stepping a little bit better lately, and we thought, ‘let’s push forward and try and lead’, and Josh said this morning, ‘I think this horse is going to win today’.

“He really enjoys the nice strong tempo and being out in front and getting his own way, and he did relish the heavy track, and everything just came together for him today.”

The result means The Doctor’s Son is now exempt from the ballot for next month’s $200,000 Wagga Gold Cup, and Collins hopes his old stager can run a good race in the Listed event and Big Dance qualifier.

“If he draws a barrier and gets his own way (in front) again, he’ll be hard to run down,” Collins said. 

“Hopefully, he can get a nice tempo out in front, and I’m not going to say we’re confident, but I hope he can run a nice race.”

It was a good day of racing at Gundagai, considering course proper was rated a heavy ten following a deluge of rain on Saturday night. 

For results, click here.