2017 Canberra Cup: Dark Eyes Too Strong
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Dark Eyes has won a hard fought Canberra Cup, holding out a strong challenge from Melbourne visitor Cool Chap.
Dark Eyes was sent around favourite and travelled nicely in behind the leaders in what was a strongly contested Canberra Cup.
After settling back in the field for Brenton Avdulla, Cool Chap was on the move before the corner and on straightening looked to be travelling best to the outside of Dark Eyes and Red Excitement who was under pressure to hold his spot.
Cool Chap headed Dark Eyes passing the 200m mark but the famous Gai Waterhouse bone and muscle kicked in and Dark Eyes was able to rally back and deny Cool Chap in a thrilling finish.
Dark Eyes is the fifth Canberra Cup winner trained by Gai Waterhouse since 1995. She is still one win short of her late father Tommy Smith, who trained six Canberra Cup winners.
"We came down and won this race last year with Hipppous and it was terrific to come down and win it again," said stable representative Neil Paine.
"Watching the race, when Tim (Clark) popped off the fence I at the 500m I said to the owners he must be going well to get going now and Dark Eyes just kept giving, kept coming and coming, the old Gai Waterhouse bone and muscle. Once Gai and Adrian's horses hit the lead they are hard to go past."