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Wanabefamous takes Gold Cup after protest

July 7, 2014

Wanabefamous was awarded victory after a dramatic Taumarunui Gold Cup at Te Rapa today.

The judge had earlier been unable to separate Wanabefamous and Addictive Habit, declaring the Listed feature a dead heat after a long and tense wait.

But the siren wailed immediately after the result was announced. The connections of Wanabefamous were protesting against Addictive Habit for interference inside the last 100 metres.

The interference was obvious. Even Addictive Habit’s trainer Lee Somervell conceded that his horse was at fault, but he disagreed that it affected the result.

“20 metres after the line Addictive Habit is clearly in front again,” the Cambridge trainer said in the inquiry room.

According to stipendiary steward John Oatham, though, this was a clear-cut case.

“The stewards are in no doubt that interference has occurred,” he said. “Addictive Habit moves outwards and impinges on Wanabefamous. Hutchings is unable to ride his horse (Wanabefamous) to the best of his ability.”

“Given the result of a dead heat, we are clearly of the view that had interference not occurred, Wanabefamous would have won the race,” he concluded.

The controversy detracted from an exciting three-horse war down the home straight between the first pair and brave topweight Thorn Prince.

“What a race,” enthused Taumarunui Racing Club president Gayle Richardson.

With Matt Cameron aboard, Addictive Habit had burst to the lead at the top of the straight and opened up what looked like a winning break.

Thorn Prince, admirably coping with the 59 kilograms on his back, emerged from the pack and bridged the gap. He drew up beside Addictive Habit and vied for the lead.

Wanabefamous was warming up just behind the two and burst between them, shouldering his way through a narrowing gap.

Thorn Prince never stopped trying, but Wanabefamous and Addictive Habit edged away from him and had the finish of the $65,000 event to themselves. Neither gave an inch, and the lead changed with each bob of the head.

Addictive Habit and Wanabefamous lunged for the line side by side, locked together and inseparable to the naked eye.

The two horses were walked around on opposite sides of the birdcage as the judge examined the desperately close photo. As the deliberations dragged on it became obvious that the Taumarunui Gold Cup was about to have its first-ever dead heat for first. Half an hour later it was gone.

Both horses had given their all, but in doing so Addictive Habit made that outward movement that proved to be so crucial.

For Wanabefamous, it was his seventh win from 23 career starts. The Star Way gelding had run a fast-finishing third to Intransigent in the Kiwifruit Cup at his previous appearance.

Intransigent fell short in his bid to defend his 2013 Taumarunui Gold Cup title, but still caught the eye with a big late run from way back in the field to finish fifth. On a day when it was hard to make ground from the back, his was one of the standout efforts.

Story from: The Informant