A dream of winning his home town Geraldton Gold Cup had a fairy tale ending for Walkaway trainer Graeme Hammarquist after Freez’emoff stormed home to claim victory in the $100,000 feature on Sunday.
“This is my first Geraldton Cup and I’m over the moon,” Hammarquist told The Races WA.
“I reckon it would be as good a feeling as winning a Melbourne Cup.
“It’s out there it’s way out there, it’s just an unbelievable experience.
“It’s been a dream day for me.”
Aided by a gun Kyra Yuill ride, Freez’emoff ($3.90) powered home from sixth on the turn and bolted in by 1 ¼ lengths.
Stable mates Proxy and Defiantly finished second and third respectively for trainer Gary Delane.
Freez’emoff travelled well for Yuill, but was in danger of being caught behind horses nearing the home turn.
However; when the in-form rider pushed out and found clear galloping room, the lightly-raced mare produced a strong turn of foot.
Hammarquist said Yuill has been a star in Geraldton all season and her cool ride played a pivotal role in Freez’emoff winning the Tabtouch Geraldton Gold Cup (2100m).
“I had the best horse in the race and the best jockey in the race,” Hammarquist said.
“When her manager rang me before the season asking to ride for a stable I just said my door is open and all she has to do is give me the word.
“She has ridden for me all year and has ridden many winners, now she has got the main one.
“It’s a nice way to end the season and it’s been just excellent.”
After her 24th career start, Freez’emoff improved her record to eight wins, including the past two in succession.
On March 29 she produced a similar finishing burst to defeat Mycroft.
Hammarquist said three weeks between runs was a risk, but one he was prepared to take.
“It was a big gamble and my gamble,” Hammarquist said.
“I was just hopeful I had done enough with her at home.
“She obviously did and it all fell into place.”
Mycroft, who was backed into cup favouritism, was never a serious threat and ran eighth.
Miss Zedel ran fourth in her first attempt at the cup distance and looks to have a future for trainer Sarah Childs
Esperance Cup winner Push To Pass couldn’t overcome the 61kg top weight and finished seventh.