Krissie Simpkins lands quinella in Gulargambone Cup

Superel wins the Gulargambone Cup for jockey Billy Cray and trainer Krissie Simpkins. Photo: Racing Photography.

Krissie Simpkins enjoyed a day to remember at Gulargambone on Saturday, with the Muswellbrook trainer not only winning the Gulargambone Cup with Superel, but she also trained the quinella, with Twittersphere running a good second in the 1200m feature. 

Superel started the $2.80 favourite, and with Simpkins’ partner Billy Cray in the saddle, the Super One mare was a strong 1.46 lengths winner from Twittersphere ($6), who was ridden by Anthony Cavallo, while in third and two lengths off the winner was the Graeme Brooker-trained Plectrum ($3.60) for jockey Ken Dunbar. 

Simpkins went to Gulargambone confident she had the winner, and she was thrilled to train her first feature-race quinella. 

“It wasn’t totally unexpected,” Simpkins explained. 

“I thought a quinella was possible, but both horses still had to run well, and it was a nice result at the end of the day,” Simpkins said.

Superel went into Saturday’s race with four wins from 35 starts and Simpkins admitted that she deserved favouritism, but she explained there wasn’t a whole lot separating the pair ability wise, hinting that Twittersphere might have been unlucky not to win. 

“Superel had the form on the board, and has won more races, but when they have raced together, normally they finish within a length from each other, and I knew if Twittersphere could get our early, she would run a good race,” Simpkins said. 

“She couldn’t get out early enough, but she found the line strongly to run second, but I do think if she got clearer running earlier, she might have won. 

Superel and Billy Cray win the Gulargambone Cup in front of the big Gulargambone crowd. Photo: Racing Photography.

“Either way, both are super mares, and they always give 110% in every run, and we couldn’t be happier.”

Simpkins had never previously trained a runner at Gulargambone, and while she has every reason to like the track after her cup quinella, the winning trainer explained that the course proper was in very good condition. 

“In have quinella’d a race before, but never in a cup race and it was my first time racing at Gulargambone, so it turned out to be a really good day,” Simpkins said. 

“We were going to Port Macquarie, but we chose to go to Gulargambone instead and it turned out to be a good decision.

“The track held up really well. It had a nice grass coverage, and the last time I went there as a strapper it was a dirt track, so it was a lot better this time.

“It raced well, and it was soft without being too wet and there was a really good crowd, and it was just good to see the community altogether for a nice day out” 

Gulargambone hosted an entertaining six-race-program on Saturday, and across the meeting, honours were largely split with five different trainers and six different jockeys enjoying success. 

The Michael Mulholland-trained Ready Made Doll ($2.20, Jake Barrett) won the 1100m Maiden Handicap and the Garry McCarney-trained Monetise ($3.20, Angela Cooper) was too good in the 1450m Maiden Plate. 

Gilgandra trainer Kieren Hazelton won the 1450m Benchmark 45 Handicap with Zamali ($8, Ken Dunbar) and the Wayne Martyn-trained For Da Boys ($6, Julia Presits) took out the 1800m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

In the final race of the day, Hazelton landed his training double with Green Opinions ($1.80, Anthony Cavallo) winning the 1200m Class One Handicap.

For full result, click here