Lunn galloper proves too classy in Gulgong Cup

Clayton Gallagher and Classy Rebel made easy work of their opposition in the 2021 Gulgong Cup, winning by nearly eight lengths for Dubbo trainer, Dar Lunn. Photo: Racing Photography.

Classy Rebel absolutely blitzed his rivals in the Gulgong Cup on Sunday, winning by 7.86 lengths to beat Gadfly and The Bald Eagle. 

Ther Dar Lunn galloper was ridden a treat by Clayton Gallagher, going to the front and winning at early speed battle against Malzoom, before powering further away to greet the judge first in the six furlong event worth $10,000.

“It was a good win, he was very impressive,” Lunn said. 

The six-year-old was on the short back-up, after racing at Dubbo on Friday and running second to Golden Avenger in the 1000m Open sprint.

“I started him at Dubbo, and he ran a good second. The horse went really good, and he ate up that morning and night, and I thought there was no reason he couldn’t go there to Gulgong and win,” Lunn said.

The Rebel Raider gelding would normally have Jake Pracey-Holmes on board, but Gallagher picked up the ride, doing as Lunn instructed, and holding off Pracey-Holmes, who finished a well-beaten second.

“Jake would normally ride him, but he had another ride booked, so Clayton got the ride and I said to Clayton, ‘this thing will lead, so just go to the front’,” Lunn said.

“He said that thing of Gavin Groth’s would lead, and I told him to take him on for the first furlong, and he did, he ended up getting away from them and it was a very impressive win.”
Classy Rebel now has six wins from 34 starts, but has won three of his last five outings, and Lunn said the former Victorian just took a little while to adjust to NSW. 

“I bought him from Melbourne, I think the trip and having them runs, he probably felt it a bit, and he came out of wintertime, so he didn’t look the best,” Lunn said. 

“I started him in some (Benchmark) 66 races where he was out of his depth and he was a Benchmark 45, but he still ran nice races, so I tipped him out, gave him a spell and he is a different horse all together.”

Lunn explained that he has been slowly improving this preparation.

“He came back into work, and we started him first up in a 1100m at Binnaway because that’s where his owners are from, and we had two in the same race, and we thought the other would win and this bloke came out and won,” Lunn said.

“He came home from there and he kept improving; he ran a nice seventh at Dubbo in a tough race, then at Wellington, he jumped and kept on running and won by three or four lengths.

“He ran a good race at Dubbo on Friday and come second to that thing of Cameron (Crockett’s) and then he put them away at Gulgong.”

It could very well be a big jump up in class for Classy Rebel on Sunday, with Lunn nominating his in-form runner for the $35,000 Coonamble Cannonball. 

“I was going to nominate him there before Gulgong, but I didn’t think he would get in because of his benchmark,” Lunn said. 

“Now he has won, he might get a run and the owner rang me today and said to nominate him.

“It will be a tough race and he has had three runs in the space of 14 days, so I don’t think we’ll go, but I will nominate and have a look first.”

In what turned out to be a terrific day at Gulgong, the racing kept a big crowd entertained and Gallagher took riding honours, finishing with three wins and a second from six races. 

Gallagher rode the first on the card for Kylie Kennedy when winning the 1400m Maiden Handicap on Terry Tuffnut before winning the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap on Slickster for Jan Bowen.

Ben Osmond rode his first career winner, guiding Lily’s Lolly to victory in the 1000m Maiden Plate for Todd Howlett. 

Peter Clare and Daniel Northey combined in the penultimate event, winning the 1200m Class Two Handicap with Dubai Harbour and in the final event on the day, Bacinblac was too good in the 1800m Benchmark 58 Handicap for Kieren Hazelton and Chelsea Ings.