Lismore Cup's photo finish
THE Carrot Thief - alias Skytrek - struck again at Lismore, claiming a narrow win in the $60,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Showcase Cup (2100m).
A five-year-old gelding son of Not a Single Doubt Skytrek was launched by Michael Cahill from back in the field and along the rail to nose out Al Shameel by a short head.
Last year's Cup winner, Collaboration, was three quarters-of-a-length away third.
Michael Cahill was jubilant and celebrated his third Lismore Cup win after winning his first on Mack Griffith's Mack 'N' Me in 1997 and then Les Kelly's Chilled in 2010.
"I cut it a bit fine but he got there," Cahill yelled to winning trainer Barry Lockwood as he brought Skytrek back to the winners stall.
"It's my third Cup," he told for The Northern Star.
"Would have been easier but he got shuffled back around the back."
While Cahill celebrated his third Lismore Cup, Barry Lockwood savoured his first.
"It might have been my first runner," he said without recollection of starting any of his stable in a Lismore Cup since he started training in Tamworth three or four decades ago.
"It was a great ride," he said as he still came to grips with the close victory.
He had thought Al Shameel had beaten him narrowly.
"That's what I thought from where I watched," he said.
"He (John Everson) has done a great job with that horse too."
Skytrek, though, is a horse with character.
His many exploits to sniff out carrots are entertaining stories in <QL>the stable and Barry's staff admitted there'd be plenty of carrots for Skytrek on the way home.
And he might even find himself in a metro staying race shortly as well, such has been his rise in form and health.
"He was a weak horse," Barry admitted.
"I'd work him and have to pander to him for three or four days afterwards. Now he eats his bin out after a gallop."
The transformation is startling. Maybe the carrots have helped!