By Amy Rees
Goulburn hosted their annual Carnival Of Cups day on Sunday with the feature being the Group 3 Goulburn Soldiers Club Frank & Edna Day Goulburn Cup.
The event went the way of the highly successful Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy combination, with nine-year-old Alta Orlando NZ proving too good.
With a history of acting erratically, there was a slight question mark next to the name of the race-favourite, however driver Luke McCarthy was able to get the gelding away and into a beautiful, one-out-one-back position.
“He is better with a sit and I knew Grimson’s horse [Experian NZ] would lead and hold the front so I thought I would just try and get a good cart into the race,” the leading reinsman said.
Being the sole second line runner, McCarthy was able to immediately angle away from the fence and straight into the running lane when the mobile let them go.
With a bit of speed on early, the leader [Experia NZ] backed the tempo off and secured a leisurely 32.3 first quarter.
Quickening up the tempo through the middle half of the race, Alta Orlando NZ had still done no work, leaving as much gas in the tank as possible.
Rounding the home bend, McCarthy was able to push up through the middle of runners and commence a three-wide run entering the straight.
From there, with fresh legs, the gelding was able to sprint past rivals and win comfortably by five metres with the deafeners still in.
“We were really happy with him,” McCarthy said.
“He came out and run a good second to King Of Swing the start before Goulburn and then the race at Goulburn worked out really good, it wasn’t as strong as the week before either.”
Now, Alta Orlando NZ will potentially be looking for a start in the Group 1 Hunter Cup at Melton on February 6.
“The owners thought if he went well and won at Goulburn then they’d give him his chance in the Hunter Cup, so they’ll decide later on through the week whether they want him to go down,” McCarthy said.
The win in the Group 3 event on Sunday was the gelding’s 18th career victory and sixth success in a Group event.
The Goulburn club now has a few months off before racing recommences in late April 2021. Goulburn’s remaining 5 race meetings are programmed for Friday afternoons and the club looks forward to catching up with their patrons.
Remaining race dates:
Friday 23 April
Friday 7 May
Friday 21 May
Friday 4 June
Friday 18 June