Exclusive won the Beef Week Cup for Casino trainer Stephen Bennett. Photo Susanna Fraymark.
Exclusive won the Beef Week Cup for Casino trainer Stephen Bennett. Photo Susanna Fraymark.

Casino butcher wins the Beef Week Cup

LOCAL butcher Stephen Bennett won the Beef Week Cup with four-year-old gelding Exclusive at the Casino Racing Club.

It is the second time Bennett has won the cup after first tasting success in the $31,500 feature race in 1996.

“He’s a lovely horse and he’s very honest,” Bennett said.

“He doesn’t like it too soft and there are some races around Grafton which might suit.

“Possibly the Maclean Cup (in July) or something like that coming up.

“We’ll find something for him.”

Jockey Matt McGuren has now won the race three straight years after doing it on the Daniel Bowen-trained Malmoosa in 2018 and Queen of Kingston last year.

Earlier, Ballina trainer Stephen Lee and jockey Jon Grisedale dominated the early races.

They combined to win the first two races on the eight-race TAB Beef Week Cup card.

First up was talented two-year-old Freya’s Cloak.

The daughter of By The Factor had debuted with a first up fourth at Murwillumbah last December after being slow out of the barriers. The filly then spelled and resumed with a good win at Murwillumbah on May 11 at big odds.

She jumped well today with Grisedale able to lead under a good hold. She led all the way to win by just over a length.

Sailing, a three-year-old daughter of Fast ‘N’ Famous, also drew well and jumped in front to be rated perfectly by Grisedale.

She won by a similar margin at double figure odds ($21).

It was a great start to a day which was thrown into chaos when the gate failed to open for Sir Angus in the third race forcing stewards to declare it a non race.

They then re-ran the race with Sharon Pepper’s Electric Miss surging home for a good win.

The three-year-old daughter of Stratum broke through for her first win in nine starts in the Northern Rivers Concreting Maiden Handicap (1300m).

It was a decisive win for the Lismore filly, Electric Miss racing away to win by a couple of lengths impressively for jockey Kirk Matheson.

Pepper paid just $1250 for the filly.