Kerry Weir and connections can lay claim to a unique piece of NSW racing history.
For the second year in a row, Weir, Canberra jockey Kayla Nisbet, and tough Tumut galloper Crocodile Cod have won the first country cup of the new year, taking out the Adelong Cup on New Year’s Day 2022, while they defended their crown again in 2023.
On Sunday, Crocodile Cod came up against a very good field of runners, taking on proven performers such as Keep It Down, Do This All Day, and Choice Harvest.
Despite the strong field, and the fact that there appeared to be a bias towards horses coming from off the pace, Nisbet took Crocodile Cod ($3.60) to the front from gate three, and he was never headed as he ran the field along at a good clip before finishing strongly to beat the Craig Weeding-trained Choice Harvest (Fiona Sandkuhl, $5.50) and the Danielle Seib-trained Do This All Day (Hannah Williams, $5), which both dead-heated for second, finishing 0.84 of a length off the winner.
“That was always the plan,” Weir replied when asked about Crocodile Cod taking up the early lead in the Adelong Cup.
“He likes to bowl along and that’s what he did, and we wanted Kayla to give him a dig out and be positive.
“He is fit, and with the 1400m around Gundagai, you can get in front and just keep running along and they can be hard to get past.”
Rochelle Wedrat-Kroezen made a mid-race move on the Norm Gardner-trained Keep it Down, with the pair travelling three and four wide, and at one stage it appeared as though a wall of horses would travel past Crocodile Cod, but the pride of Tumut kept on kicking on his way to back-to-back wins.
“A few of those other horses took off before the corner, and Kayla said she could hear them coming at the 600m, so she got going, and they were all going a bit early, and she thought she’d make it a true 1400m cup race,” Weir said.
“He likes to race like that, and he just kept on travelling for Kayla.”
Crocodile Cod is racing in a rich vein of form after winning over the 1200m at Tumut on Boxing Day, and Weir was always confident that he would be primed for another big showing at Gundagai.
“It was like a gallop for today; I wasn’t expecting him to win at Tumut to be honest, and it was a bonus on the way through and he was in good order for today’s run,” Weir said.
Weir picked up the Cluster gelding up as a freebie from breeder and former owner Noel Penfold, and he has enjoyed a good run with the six-year-old, which has now won six times in 55 starts.
“They are all hard races to win these days, and he keeps getting it done,” Weir said.
“His win today takes him over 100 grand in prizemoney, which is not bad for running at the non-TABs.”
Connections will now prepare for the $19,000 Tumut Cup on February 11, with the race set to be held on Tumut Turf Club’s transferred TAB meeting.
“It would’ve suited us a bit more if it was in two weeks’ time because he is going so well, but I will just freshen him up and go into the Tumut Cup first-up,” Weir said.
“I think he will be hard to get past, especially on his home track.”
Weir won’t be back in action again until Tumut Turf Club hold their non-TAB meeting on January 14.
For Gundagai’s Adelong Cup meeting results click here.