Kouneli retires a winner
GRACEMERE horse Kouneli has had a dream final race, taking out the 99th Calliope Gold Cup on Saturday.
The Brian Challacombe trained 10-year-old was home by three lengths ahead of favourite Forty Eight Crash, with Stirling another half length back.
“We’re retiring the horse today and we brought him here to win,” Challacombe said.
“He’s been a good old horse and he’s gone out sound.”
Kouneli has had 120 starts, picking up 19 wins, 21 seconds and 15 thirds and winning $158,000.
Challacombe picked up his first win in the Calliope Gold Cup after visiting on and off since 1973 and was named joint trainer of the day.
Winning jockey Trinity Bannon picked up the jockey of the day.
Calliope Jockey Club president Jim Neill-Ballantine said it was a “great” day.
“We’ve had some great racing,” he said.
“The crowd was good. We’ve very pleased. We’re very thrilled with the atmosphere and the patronage.”
Neill-Ballantine said the recent rains, including another shower on Saturday morning, had enhanced the track.
Fashions in the Field ladies winner Melanie Hall wasn’t expecting to pick up the prize on her day out with family and friends.
The annual Boxing Day races will be even bigger next year for the 100th running of the Calliope Gold Cup.Race Results
1 Maiden Plate
Ragazza Della Sera, Eurocent, One More Spin (5-3/4 len)
2 Class 2 Handicap
Mitsioux, Regal Mountain, Spanish Kiss 3 Class 5 Handicap
Scent Of Gold, Infringement, Eagle Jester
4 Class B Handicap
Tuscany Affair, Mocha Tart, Bella Principessa.
5 Gold Cup Open Handicap
Kouneli, Forty Eight Crash, Stirling