DYLAN’S Rojo made the trip to the Upper Hunter more than worthwhile on an already good day for Australian cricket selector Mark Waugh when he won the $80,000 Muswellbrook Gold Cup (1500 metres) on Friday.
With his wife, Wyong trainer Kim Waugh, at home unwell, the Australian cricket great was on hand to oversee Dylan’s Rojo score a 1.8-length win over Muswellbrook-trained and Josh Parr-ridden favourite Alart ($2.40) in the feature event.
Jockey Mitchell Bell took the six-year-old gelding, which paid $6.50 for the win, to the early lead from barrier 12 and the pair were never headed. The Mack Griffith-trained Binalong Road was third.
The win came as Australia’s new-look Test team were looking good at 2-150 chasing South Africa’s 9-259 (declared) at Adelaide Oval.
“Mitchell rode him great,” Mark Waugh told Sky Racing.
“He got across. I thought there was going to be a bit of pace early, but he rode him beautifully, and he’s always hard to get past if he gets his own way in front.”
The victory was Dylan’s Rojo’s first since August 2015 and came three weeks after a fifth at Canterbury.
“That was a good run, too, at Canterbury,” Waugh said.
“He did a lot of work in that race but he was really fresh today in the enclosure. He was pigrooting and loving himself, so he was feeling pretty good and he ended up coming out and showing that he was feeling good. He raced very well.
“Kim's at home. She’s got a little bit of a migraine, a little bit of a virus, so that will make her feel a lot better.
“Today was beautifully timed. I had nothing on today so I thought I’d come up here and hopefully get a winner, and we got the job done.”
While veteran Muswellbrook horseman Pat Farrell fell short of a win in the main race with Alart, fellow local trainer Mark Schmetzer scored with Love None in the maiden handicap (1280m).
Newcastle trainers Kris Lees (Deneeky), Paul Perry (Petrossian) and Jason Deamer (Our Renaissance) were other winners on the program, along with Maitland’s Darryl Roberts with Bills A Goodie.
Lees had reason to celebrate later at Canterbury when Invincible Gem won over 1100m.
On Saturday at Rosehill, Cessnock trainer Rebecca Dunn has long-shot Keep On Charging in the $150,000 two-year-old feature, the Golden Gift (1100m).