TALENTED apprentice jockey Tahlia Hope rode a copybook race on the Daniel Bowman-trained Judges to win the $45,000 Port Fairy Cup at Warrnambool on Thursday.
Hope drew barrier three on the former hot-headed galloper and was never headed before defeating Lord Tennyson and Villopoto in the 1400-metre race.
Bowman said Hope’s claim was a key part in the victory.
“Judges can be a difficult horse to ride,” the Warrnambool-based trainer said.
“It's lucky that Tahlia has ridden him before and understands him. Her two-kilo claim was a big bonus.
“We had him entered at Bendigo for Wednesday, Warrnambool on Thursday and Mount Gambier Friday. He drew wide at Bendigo so we scratched him. It's great to win a race on your home track.”
Bowman took time to acknowledge owner Don Storey after the win.
“Don puts a lot of money into racing,” he said.
“It's great to get a win for him. He's been a great supporter of my stable.
“We’ll give Judges a break now. He's been an honest horse, but was a bit of a hot-head when we got him.
“He had a wind operation last Christmas but that appears to be have worked out alright.”
Judges took his stakemoney to more than $100,000 with the win.
Ciaron Maher’s Caulfield Cup winner Jameka was paraded to racegoers.
Maher said Jameka was enjoying a well-deserved break after running in the Caulfield and Melbourne cups.
“We’ll give Jameka a light autumn,” he said.
“We don't have a real program mapped out at this stage, but we may go to Sydney for a race. We're just keeping our options open.”
Jockeys Dean Yendall, Jack Hill and Andrew Mallyon shared the riding honours on the eight-race program. The three jockeys rode doubles.
ROLLING COVERAGE, PHOTOS FROM PORT FAIRY CUP: http://www.standard.net.au/story/4329061/port-fairy-cup-rolling-coverage/?cs=73