Tuesday, 3 July 2012
: Local hero Robert Thompson broke his Jungle Juice drought at Cessnock on Tuesday when he won the race for the eighth time.
| Robert Thompson |
The 53-year-old record breaking Cessnock jockey had not ridden a Jungle Juice Cup winner since 1994 after winning the race seven times in its first 14 years.
Thompson teamed with the Tracey Bartley-trained General's Sniper for an all the way win after a fortunate riding switch.
Thompson, Australia's record holder with more than 3750 wins to his credit, was initially booked to ride the recent Cessnock Cup runner-up Exploitable Doubt.
However, when Exploitable Doubt went amiss Thompson was offered the ride on General's Sniper by Bartley.
General's Sniper started favourite and narrowly held on to win by a neck over the Neil Godbolt-trained stablemates Never Doubt Me and Better Not Doubt.
There was incredible irony in the result as Robert Thompson's son Simon is married to Godbolt's daughter Alison. SImon works as stable foreman for his father-in-law at Port Macquarie and Alison is a part-ownmer of both placegetters with her parents.
General's Sniper was Tracey Bartley's first starter in the race and he took a trip down memory lane in the process.
Former jockey Bartley competed against Thompson,regularly and rode his first winner at Cessnock in 1981, the same year the Jungle Juice Cup was born.
“It was my 11th ride in a race, and the horse I won on was Just A Phantom and he carried No 11 saddlecloth,” Bartley recalled.
“It's terrific to come back here and win the Jungle Juice Cup with my first starter.”
Bartley praised his former adversary for producing a great ride to get his mare home.
“He's a legend,” Bartley said. “No doubt Robert's ride won the race for us.”
Check out FREE Full Race results
for nine separate countries.