Dunkeld victory makes cup hat-trick for Pennon

BALLARAT trainer Andrew Payne played down his ambitious plan to set Pennon for the 2013 Warrnambool Cup following his impressive win in the $25,000 Dunkeld Cup on Saturday.

Pennon, which was bought by Payne for some stable clients for $25,000 from respected New Zealand trainer Kevin Myers in early October, has won his past three starts in country cups for the talented former jockey. 

His hat-trick of wins started with the $15,000 St Arnaud Cup, followed by the $15,000 Mortlake Cup before Saturday’s victory.

“There will be plenty of people who will think it’s a big jump from a Dunkeld Cup to the Warrnambool Cup but I believe there’s plenty of improvement in the horse,” Payne said.

“He’s only had a couple of let-ups during his career but I will be putting him in the paddock for a good rest on Monday. 

“He’ll have at least six weeks in the paddock before I get him back into work for a tilt at next year’s Warrnambool Cup,” he said. 

“Pennon is by Pentire and they are slow-maturing horses. I reckon we have not seen the best of this horse.”

The 33-year-old trainer gave credit to top female jockey Linda Meech for her ride on the six-year-old galloper.

“It was a very good ride by Linda. She’s had four rides on the horse for four wins. Linda understands the horse very well,” he said.

“She had him well placed in the run just off the pace before making her run at around the 400-metre mark. 

“He was just too good for the opposition in the run to the line.”

Payne said the win was very satisfying because Pennon had been set for the race.

“His other wins in the St Arnaud and Mortlake cups were bonuses on the way,” he said.

“We wanted to win the Dunkeld Cup because it’s part of what racing is all about at this level — grass-roots racing.”

Payne said the $25,000 which he paid for Pennon was a fair price.

“We’ve already covered the initial outlay for the horse and there are more wins in store,” he said.

“I was interested in buying Pennon back in June 2010 after he ran third in a three-year-old race at Flemington but he was going to be too expensive. 

“Patrick (my brother) was training him at that stage but the horse hit a dull spot and ended up going back over to Kevin in New Zealand. 

“Kevin got him going again and the horse came back to Australia and won the Murtoa Cup before we bought him,” he said. “ I’ve always rated him highly as I consider him an honest horse with a good will to win a race.”

Pennon has won seven of his 35 starts.

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