GREAT WESTERN - Consistent mare, Spanish Vixen, brought up her biggest career win to date when she took out the Seppelt Salinger Great Western Cup on Saturday.
Trained at Stawell by Paul Jones, Spanish Vixen carried the hopes of the region into the 1850 metre Great Western Cup and after being given a dream run by talented young apprentice jockey Lily Coombe, the Al Samer mare did not let her supporters down.
Spanish Vixen easily held her rivals at bay to win the cup by two lengths from the impeccably bred gelding Six Beat, which is by the champion Lonhro.
Paul Jones was delighted to win such a special race.
"We were rapt. It's such an iconic race to win around here," Jones said.
"Not that long ago, I started to think it would be a nice race for her."
Spanish Vixen went into the cup on the back of an impressive win at Penola on January 9. Jones said the Penola run was aimed at freshening the mare up in preparation for the Great Western Cup.
"I gave her the run at Penola to give her a bit of a confidence boost," he said.
"She hadn't been having much luck, so I thought Penola was a good opportunity for her to get a win under her belt this preparation.
"She was running well without luck so I was just hoping everything went right for her in the cup. I thought if she had any luck, she could win the race.
"Lily rode her a treat. She had her jump well and put her right in the race. I knew all along we were a chance."
Jones said he believed Spanish Vixen should have finished in the money at Mornington in December, but once again a run of bad luck in the running cost her any chance.
"Things just didn't go her way, so we were happy with the change of luck at Penola and then Great Western," he said.
"She was interfered with at Mornington and that took away any chance she had of winning. I thought she should've been in the money for sure."
Jones is still undecided where he will enter Spanish Vixen next, but the Marong Cup over 2200 metres at Bendigo on February 8 is certainly on the radar.
"We'll nominate her for the Marong Cup and see what happens from there," he said.