Big Dance bound Toowoomba duo claim Ballina Cup

The 2024 Ballina Cup went to Toowoomba visitors and mother and son duo Kylie and Corey Geran and leading Queensland-based jockey Kyle Wilson-Taylor. Image – Ballina Jockey Club.

Toowoomba co-trainers and mother and son duo Kylie and Corey Geran are bound for the $3 million Big Dance following their victory with Without Revenge in Thursday’s $65,000 Ballina Cup (1590m). 

With Kyle Wilson-Taylor in the saddle, Without Revenge ($3.10) mustered enough early speed from gate one and went straight to the front, making every post a winner. 

The six-year-old rolled along and was never headed, pulling away for a dominant four-length victory from the Matthew Dunn-trained Eaglemont ($2.05) while in third and four and a half lengths back was the Stephen Lee-trained Beckford (Jake Bayliss, $9.50), who finished strongly from last.

Initially trained by David Vandyke, it was the Muhaarar gelding’s fourth run and first win for the stable, but the English-bred import had been knocking on the door of a win. 

First-up for the stable, he finished a game fourth to Spangler in the $750,000 Little Dance at Royal Randwick in November.

In December, he finished back-to-back runner-up placings at Doomben and Eagle Farm before breaking through for his fifth career victory at Ballina on Thursday. 

“He’s an incredibly tough horse and the best horse we’ve ever had,” Corey Geran said.

“He just continues to improve, and I knew coming to this race today, this track was going to suit him.

“We had a few hiccups getting here today with traffic and things like that, and it’s been pretty stressful, but to get the result is really good.

“It’s our first win with the horse, but he’s upwards of $130,000 in profit for us now.”

The road to Thursday’s Ballina Cup wasn’t straightforward, with the meeting abandoned last week following 200m of rain in the region. 

The Geran stable considered running Without Revenge in Brisbane on Saturday but eventually opted for the Ballina Cup, which proved to be a masterstroke.

“Nothing’s gone to plan the last little bit with him, and I almost did run him in Brisbane, and then I just thought, they put the race on down here, and that would suit him better,” Geran said. 

Now locked in for this year’s $3 million Big Dance, which will be run and won at Royal Randwick on the first Tuesday in November, the Toowoomba stable can base their gelding’s upcoming preparations around his Grand Final. 

“The horse raced out of his skin last year in the Little Dance, and we only had him a month before that,” Geran said. 

“It takes the pressure off, and we can plan his campaign around that, and he might go for a little break, and we’ll target him for some races during the winter carnival and then obviously aim for the Big Dance.”

The Geran operation is a family affair, with Kylie and Corey training, while Kylie’s husband and Corey’s father, Gary, is an accomplished jockey, boasting over 1100 career wins. 

“A big thanks to the owners, the team at home, my co-trainer; my mum, and dad, who does a lot of work,” Corey said. 

“It’s just such a big team effort and a big thanks to everybody.”