CUP DAY: Kelly Gates on Leaps and Bounds proves too good for Alannah Badger on Tropical Heatwave in the Sea FM Handicap at Thabeban Park during yesterday’s Melbourne Cup race day.
CUP DAY: Kelly Gates on Leaps and Bounds proves too good for Alannah Badger on Tropical Heatwave in the Sea FM Handicap at Thabeban Park during yesterday’s Melbourne Cup race day. Max Fleet BUNMEL

Kelly grabs close win in Bundaberg cup day race

SOMETIMES in horse racing, all you need is luck.

For local trainer Darryl Gardiner, he got it in two races yesterday, as his horses took out race two and race five at Thabeban Park in the local Melbourne Cup day event.

Leaps and Bounds, who was the favourite, took out race two after a thrilling battle with the Mat Reardon-trained Tropical Heatwave.

After starting well out of the gates, Leaps and Bounds lost ground to Tropical Heatwave, as they rounded the final bend on to the front straight.

Leaps and Bounds was able to close up, and go neck and neck with Tropical Heatwave, as they neared the finish line.

As both went to cross the line, they switched positions multiple times, which required a photo finish to split them as they went past the post.

Leaps and Bounds won the photo to win by a short head.

Jockey Kelly Gates said she wasn't sure whether she had won or lost the race.

"I wasn't sure I won. I knew whoever bobbed their head first would have won the race. I'm glad it was us who won in the end," she said.

"It was a little bit too short in distance for the horse, so I had to ride her quite aggresively to beat the other favourite. She responded well though and was up for the fight."

In race five, Gates backed up her winning ride in race two, to take her and Gardiner's second win for the day on Al's Briefs.

They were once again able to hold on at the end, in a close finish, with outsider Bjorn almost causing an upset as it finished second.

Al's Briefs held on though to win by a head for its third win out of its last six starts.

In the first race, Brawny Babe dominated, leading from start to finish to win by almost four lengths for trainer William Melvin. Second was Babes Copyright with Dazza's Reward in third.

Jockey Ian Coombes said the horse was flawless in its run.

"Once he took a couple of strides out of the gates to find his feet, he launched himself, and was travelling well,"

Race three was taken out by Metallic Point with race four won by short favourite Come by Often.

Melbourne Cup race day at Thabeban Park results

Race 1 - 1. Brawny Babe, 2. Babes Copyright, 3. Dazza's Reward

Race 2 - 1. Leaps and Bounds 2. Tropical Heatwave 3. Mokkie Magic

Race 3 - 1. Metallic Point 2. Scratchy 3. Flinders Luck

Race 4 - 1. Come by Often 2. Fast and Thorny 3. Nik Nik

Race 5 - 1. Al's Briefs 2. Bjorn 3. Seen a Host



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