Winning trainer Joe Cleary labelled leading country jockey Mathew Cahill a genius after he guided Lucy Rose to victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Wellington Boot.
In a dramatic race, three horses failed to finish, Cahill got Lucy Rose to the front early on and then couldn’t be caught as she raced down the hill and past the line.
Cleary was lost for words after the win, and there were hugs all-round to celebrate his first win in the two-year-old feature.
“It’s awesome. I picked this race out about three or four months ago and there’s nothing better than when a plan comes to fruition,” he said.
“It just ticks the boxes. It’s a race I’ve wanted to win.
“I came here a few years ago and got my arse kicked and said to myself I’m not coming back until I can win it and here we are.”
Cleary also couldn’t speak highly enough of Cahill, who was born and raised in Wellington and now has three Boots to his name.
Greg Ryan, who rode an early treble on Sunday, and Cahill are often described as masters of the Wellington track and the latter showed all his class in Lucy Rose’s convincing win.
“He’s a genius around these tracks,” Cleary said.
“I booked him a couple of weeks ago at Cowra to go and had to scratch her and asked him to stay for the Boot and he said okay and here we are. We’ve got the cash and we’re taking that Boot back to Queanbeyan.”