Despite carrying 63kg, the Greg Stephens-trained Peyton Place has made it back-to-back victories in the Moruya Cup, when winning the $75,000 feature event at the Moruya Jockey Club on Monday.
Ridden by Koby Jennings, the six-year-old wasn’t missed by punters and was well supported into $3.40 favourite late in proceedings, before jumping well and leading all the way in the 1425m Open Handicap, beating a fast-finishing Girls Are Ready ($9) by 1.3 lengths, while Roman ($40) finished in third, some 1.6 lengths of the winner.
Stephens explained that everything had gone to plan for his Carlton House gelding ahead of their Moruya Cup victory.
“I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Stephens said.
“He is an absolute machine, and he is just strong. We did everything with him as we did last year, and he even come up here a couple of weeks ago and had a hit out and just loves it up here.
“The good dry track today helped when lugging the big weight, so everything was just good.”
The bold front-running gelding has developed a reputation for being one of the best country gallopers in the South East, with Peyton Place now boasting 10 wins and 12 placings from 41 starts, earning over $300,000 in the process.
“We bought him as a four-year-old,” Stephens said.
“He had just turned four and he was only lightly raced. He had six starts I think and had a win, and he was trained by Kris Lees up there at Newcastle.
“Everything about him I just liked, and I thought he would be a bold front running horse and I’ve had good luck with training front runners in the past.
“So we thought, let’s have a crack and you wouldn’t get a horse that is as determined to win as this fella.”
The 1600m Bega Cup on January 30 will be up next for Peyton Place before another tilt at the 2022 National Sprint at Canberra in March.
“We might have a look at the Bega Cup. It’s always a plan for us, especially if we can snag a dry track,” Stephens said.
“We are going to cop the weight down there, and we probably wouldn’t go if it was heavy, then we will definitely get him ready – like we did last year – for the National Sprint and have a crack at that race.”
Koby Jennings was the winning jockey, and he quickly shifted praise back on to Peyton Place after the race.
“He is a tough horse and a bit of an old marvel, and it was pretty much all him,” Jennings said.
“I just had to keep him comfortable and balanced, and he did the rest.”
Peyton Place looked to have the Moruya Cup run and won a long way out from home, and Jennings explained that the win felt as easy as it looked.
“I would have to say 1000m out when we were clearly in front and being able to do our own thing,” Jennings replied when asked at what stage did he know he had the race won.
“From then on, it was just a matter of keeping a sustained run all the way to the line and that is what he has done.”
It was another big day for the Moruya Jockey Club, with a massive crowd on course for the always-popular Moruya Cup meeting.
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