YOU would want to believe in destiny after watching this year’s Traralgon Cup.
Nearly a century after the 1930 Traralgon Cup trophy was brought back home, history repeated itself, with a local winner again saluting.
The 1930 trophy was recently discovered, after spending the best part of 92 years in the wilderness.
Thought to be lost forever, arrangements were made to bring the trophy, (which is actually a cutlery set) back home.
After confirming the trophy was indeed the Traralgon Cup from 1930, Latrobe Valley Racing Club chairperson Frank Bezzina could see a great story developing.
In the lead-up to this year’s running, he said “hopefully a local will win it this year as well”.
Bezzina got his wish, while those who came to the Latrobe Valley Racing Club on Sunday, November 27 couldn’t have wished for much better.
Close to perfect weather greeted race goers for the nine-card meeting.
Run on a Soft 6, the marquee race netted Starspangled Baby the Traralgon Cup, for local trainer Craig Blackshaw.
Blackshaw had taken over training the five-year-old mare from Bundalaguah-based Sharyn Trolove just over three weeks ago.
They do say timing is everything.
In an exciting finish, Starspangledbaby got home from fellow local Not A Problem by just under half-a-length.
Not A Problem, trained at Moe by Allison Bennett, stayed the distance for most of the 1900-metre race, but had to contend with running second on the day.
The winner put in a strong performance, settling in second at the 800m and 400m mark, before the dash to the finish.
Starspangledbaby past the post on the outside, with Michael Poy on board.
Poy signed his googles, giving them to young Charlie Gieschen of Maffra as a souvenir.
The youngster was one of many enthusiastic connections who were beside themselves in the aftermath.
Collecting the owners trophy, Mark Landy exclaimed it was going “straight to the Briag Pub!”
For Blackshaw, it was his first Traralgon Cup, and 38th career win.
“She came out very good, the target was Traralgon Cup, we were asked to do a job and we’ve done it,” he said.
“She’s a nice mare, you’re getting a last-start winner, she won on Sale Cup Day … she is a quality mare.”
As for the immediate future, Blackshaw said he hadn’t considered where the now Traralgon Cup winner will next race.
Across the other eight races, Sale-based trainer Heather Stephens had a winner in Race 6, with A Penny Spent getting the job done in a BM64 (1430m).
The five-year-old mare edged out the Peter Moody trained Victory Bay, to win by a nose.
A Penny Spent has been in very good form of late, winning three of its last four races and placing in all four.
Trolove rounded out the meeting with a win in Race 9.
High Risk was too good for its competitors, winning a BM64 (1100m) by a length.
The six-year-old mare came home strong, getting to the lead from eighth at the 800m mark.
It was a welcome return for High Risk, who may have turned the corner after running third in Bairnsdale on a Heavy 8 on November 14.
The track at Glenview Park had a Soft 6 rating from start to finish for Traralgon Cup Day.
There was no doubting the excitement on Traralgon Cup Day, so much so this writer forgot he left his suit jacket behind, (drove all the way to Morwell before realising).