The 2018 Grampians Halls Gap Cup has been run and won, with South Australian mare Pass the Glass claiming victory in the 1300 metre race on Friday.
The Sue Jaensch trained horse edged out home town trainers Terry and Karina O’Sullivan to win the $20,000 race.
The O’Sullivan’s She’s Our Gift led for most of the race before being pipped on the line.
It looked as if She’s Our Gift would hold on for a memorable win for the O’Sullivans, but Justin Huxtable, who was riding Pass the Glass, had other ideas.
Pass the Glass made a frantic move in the final 200 metres of the race to get its nose just in front of She’s Our Gift.
The 17-year-old Huxtable timed his run perfectly, managing to pip She’s Our Gift on the outside right at the line.
The Stawell based trainers didn’t leave the day empty handed however, with Magromeus taking out the final race of the day for the O’Sullivan’s.
Fellow Stawell trainer Dane Smith finished second with Our Dexter.
It was a hot day in Stawell for the event, with starting times pushed back and concluding by 4pm to ensure the safety of the horses and patrons.
Stawell Racing Club operations manager Mark Percival said the event ran smoothly with plenty of families enjoying a range of activities that were on offer.
“It went fantastic, we had a great day,” he said. “There were lots of kids there and the crowd was probably up from last year. Everyone had a great time and everyone went home safe and sound.”
Percival said the heat did not cause any issues and all of the staff did well to ensure the event ran well with the adjusted times.
“The weather was very kind to us. It didn’t get above 35 degrees and there was a lovely breeze,” he said.
Percival said it was great to see a competitive Halls Gap Cup with local trainers and owners involved.
“It was a great race, there was quite a lot of local interest in winning it,” he said.
“She’s Our Gift ran really, really bravely and it was a terrific finish, it was a competitive race.”
Percival said locals and tourists came to the area for what was a successful day of racing.
“The highlight for me was seeing families and kids there. The locals and tourists that supported the event made it for me,” he said.
The day did not go without a little controversy, with confusion reigning over race four. Darren Weir trained Black Mosheen was forced to be inspected pre-race by veterinary stewards.
The gelding was a pre-race favourite, opening at odds of $.70 before shortly blowing out to $10.
The quick change in odds drew the suspicion of stewards, ordering the gelding to be vet tested behind the gates.
In a strange turn of events, Black Mosheen would go on to win the race. Weir said he was clueless about what happened.
“I've got no idea where those things come from.”