Sue Grills wins Werris Creek Cup with Maly Malt

The Sue Grills-trained Maly Malt on the outside wins the Quirindi Jockey Club Werris Creek Cup for Ben Looker on Thursday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Tamworth trainer Sue Grills has added yet another country cup to her trophy cabinet after Maly Malt’s gritty victory in the Werris Creek Cup held at Quirindi Jockey Club on Thursday.

Ridden by the ever-consistent Ben Looker, Maly Malt was forced to travel three-wide in the early stages of the 1600m Benchmark 66 Handicap, before the pair peeled some nine horses wide on the Quirindi straight. 

Coming down the extreme outside, the four-year-old worked strongly to the line, paying $8.50 for the win in the $30,000 event, in turn defeating the Peter Sinclair-trained Ah Well (Rachel Murray, $15) by 0.48 of a length, while in third and 1.11 lengths off the pace was the Scott Singleton-trained Moorabinda Mick (Aaron Bullock, $3.90). 

“It was a good win,” Grills said. 

“She had only won two races up until yesterday, and she was pretty highly benchmarked before she came to us from Victoria, so it was a hard race, but I thought it was a really tough win,” Grills said. 

The Capitalist mare that is out of Hestia previously raced with Michael Moroney when south of the border and won her maiden at Kilmore back in April.

Since arriving in NSW, she has started five times for the Tamworth stable, winning twice at Scone and Quirindi, which takes her career record to 10 starts for three wins and three placings. 

The extra distance suited Maly Malt in the Quirindi feature race and Grills was looking forward to seeing her mare over more ground. 

“Going into the race, I thought she was a good each-way chance, and it didn’t surprise me that she won,” Grills said. 

“It was the right kind of race for her, and I think she wants a mile or further but I’m not sure where we will go next.”

Grills had considered a TAB Highway Handicap for the Werris Creek Cup winner, but instead, she will dig around for another race before potentially setting Maly Malt for the $75,000 Coonabarabran Cup on December 23. 

“She is a fiery little thing, and if we took her to a Highway, I don’t know how she would handle it, and I think we would have to stay the night with her,” Grills said. 

“Now, I just don’t think there is any Highways coming up that will suit her. The one at Newcastle would have been ideal, but we wanted to make sure she had another win under her belt first before going to a race like that.

“We are considering the Coonabarabran Cup, and she will have a start in between, but I don’t know where we will go just yet.” 

A win in the Werris Creek Cup capped off an up and down day for Grills and the Quirindi Jockey Club on Thursday. 

The Tamworth trainer had Oodles (Brooke Stower, $3) start favourite in the opening race, which was the 1450m Maiden Plate before running third to The Justin Bowen pair of Mirror Illusion (Grant Buckley, $8) and Herne Hill (Aaron Bullock, $3.40), which quinella’d the race for the Muswellbrook trainer.

Then in the second race, the 1000m Maiden Plate, the Grills-trained My Diamond Boy almost fell in the Quirindi straight, tipping off jockey Matthew Palmer, who was knocked unconscious before being transported to John Hunter Hospital for observation.

“You never like seeing jockeys fall but he’s alright,” Grills confirmed. 

“He was knocked out cold and he has had a brain bleed before, so I think they took him to Newcastle just as a precaution.”

In the race Palmer fell, Tennagain (Mikayla Weir, $4.60) got the job done, beating the Kris Lees-trained Miss Statement (Ben Looker, $12), while in third was the Paul Perry-trained Sir Tom (Ben Osmond, $7). 

In other results on the program, Looker landed a double, with the popular jockey guiding the Angela Davis-trained Meter Maid ($8.50) to a good win in the 1200m Maiden Handicap when beating the Kris Lees-trained Extessive (Darryl McLennan, $7.50) in second and the Kristen Buchanan-trained Tikitiboo (Serg Lisnyy, $7) in third. 

Apprentice Kelsey Lenton brought up her third victory since arriving in NSW, winning aboard the Theresa Stair-trained Arliebel ($7.50) in the 1200m Class One Handicap, beating the Craig Martin-trained Roussos (Aaron Bullock, $4.20) in second and the Cameron Crockett-trained Shamalie (Grant Buckley, $3.60) in third. 

Unfortunately, the final two races on the Quirindi program were abandoned due to safety concerns near the 700 metres.   

For full results, readers can click here