By Adam Pengilly, The Sydney Morning Herald
David and Alison Hush reckon the scars were so bad on Loved Up they almost had to beg Brett Cavanough to buy her — and the bush filly’s Scone Guineas win could not have been a better tonic for the breeders after a week in which the horse’s biggest supporter died.
“She had a lot of fun following this horse,” Alison said after her mother-in-law Kaye passed away earlier in the week. “The most animated she has been was when [Loved Up] ran a very close second in the Wagga Town Plate [a fortnight ago]. She helped us today.”
And the Hushes certainly needed plenty of help finding Loved Up a home. With a bit of arm twisting, leading country conditioner Cavanough eventually succumbed to the pleas and took home Loved Up “for nearly nothing”. Hush reckons it might have been $30,000. Who really cares?
It means little now after Richard Bensley enjoyed a watershed day in the saddle, arrowing for a rails run on Loved Up to score in the $400,000 Scone Guineas on Saturday.
“This filly has just been so much fun,” Hush said. “It’s been a thrill all the way through. David and I actually foaled her and raised her … and she was an accident-prone thing we couldn’t sell at the sales from all the scars on her and we got Brett to buy her. I said, ‘we’ve got to be in this horse and we’ve ended up having a ball’.”
Whether Kaye would have been guiding Bensley to a rails run in the straight would have been debatable. But the jockey knows his biggest supporter might have been cursing to himself when the gap presented.
Joked Bensley, whose previous biggest win before his Luskin Star-Scone Guineas double on Saturday was a Black Opal win: “I’m mixing it with the big boys today, aren’t I? I could hear Brett saying, ‘don’t go up there’ when I went. But you’ve just got to back yourself sometimes.
“She’s a good filly. That’s the reason why I elected to come [to Scone]. It’s a long way from home, but when that happens it’s worthwhile. The tempo was right and she probably travelled up a little too well.”
The winning margin was one-and-a-quarter lengths to Nayeli, which stalked the free-wheeling Boomwaa in the run and was only collared late in a much improved showing back on dry ground. Heavens Above was a length further back in third.
Cavanough has painted a potential group 1 Tatts Tiara target for Loved Up during the Brisbane winter carnival, electing to skip the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben.
“I came up on my own with three horses and I said it’s like this: we put the blinker on and go up [to Queensland] or we go home,” Cavanough said of Loved Up’s D-Day in the Scone Guineas. “Richie has had a great day and so has country racing. It’s a bush effort.
“I think he [Bensley] was the only one that had a plan the way they were bunched up at the half mile.”
Fireball winner Nayeli seemingly burst to a winning buffer halfway down the long Scone straight, only for Loved Up to soar through the gears under vigorous riding by Bensley.
The result was cruel on Nayeli’s owners Greg and Donna Kolivos, who raced Ryker when he was third in a Gai Waterhouse trifecta last year.
“[Jockey] Josh [Parr] said if Boomwaa had taken him another 50 metres into the race she probably would have won,” Kolivos said.