Bunbury Cup Hero’s Lucky Break


Couleur Bizarre’s popular victory in the Bunbury Cup realised a life-long dream for trainer Chris Stelmach and her partner Jerry.

The Stelmach’s have been mainstays of Bunbury racing for nearly 30 years, but success in their home town cup had eluded them.

The closest the husband and wife team got to winning the Bunbury Cup was in 2005 when Blinded ran third to Power Mak as favourite.

On Sunday it was left to unheralded stayer Couleur Bizarre to end the Stelmach’s Bunbury Cup drought and he didn’t disappoint.

Given a perfect ride by in-form jockey, Shaun McGruddy, Couleur Bizarre held out the unlucky Cappo D’Oro and the closing Dark Musket.

But as Jerry Stelmach was mobbed by an army of well-wishers and supporters after the race, he contemplated on his good fortune.

If not for a change of heart and a revision of plans, Couleur Bizarre, would not have been a contending for the 2018 Bunbury Cup (2200m).

“On the Monday Christine rang a few of the owners and told them we were not going to run,” Stelmach told Tabradio.

“Because of the ratings system he was going to go up 12 points and that is like three Saturday wins.

“We weren’t even going to nominate him, but the owners pleaded with us to at least nominate him.

“But when I looked at the field I thought if you take the top weight away (Dark Alert) it’s virtually like a 66-72 plus race.

“I rang Christine and said I think we are in it with a real huge chance and we should have a crack at it.

“It was great to win the cup and it was a great, great moment.”

Stelmach said Couleur Bizarre would attempt to claim a feature country cup double in a fortnight

The So Secret gelding, who has been racing since last September, will extend his campaign to 20 starts before heading to the paddock.

“He will have one more in the Pinjarra Cup before going for a well-earned holiday,” Stelmach said.