Stroke of luck and plenty of strategy seals mare's first win
RACING: It was no coincidence jockey Scott Sweedman wore a shamrock on his racing silks while riding with Droplet, trained by Matt Kropp.
With a little bit of luck and some stellar timing on Sweedman's behalf, the five-year-old mare took home her first career win, not only scoring herself the 160th Plough Inn Cup, but a permanent place in Dalby's racing history.
"We're stoked to have won the 160th Plough Inn Cup,” Kropp said.
Droplet sat well behind the pack until mid-race, where she was able to push forward from the outside to win by a length and a quarter in the last 200 metres.
"When she got cracking, it was good timing by Scott to let her cruise around them,” Kropp said.
"She sort of got one swoop on them, and sort of caught them off guard which was good.”
Being a maiden race, the Plough Inn Cup was for those horses who hadn't yet won at a carnival before.
Kropp said Droplet had a "handful” of starts in her career, but prior to the weekend just hadn't managed to seal a win.
"She's been placed a few times last preparation but she was just a bit immature so she had a nice long spell, and came back a fair bit bigger and stronger,” he said.
"She's taken a little while to get up but a couple of starts have trimmed her up. She seems to have her head around the idea of racing now.”
Kropp's other contender at the Saints Race Day, Rosie Posie, was vying for her 10th career win in the TAB Dalby Cup Handicap, unfortunately going down only to Rex Lipp's Real Ego, ridden by Kenji Yoshida.
"The winner... carried a couple of kilos lighter than Rosie,” Kropp said.
"He was pretty well weighted in the race. He did a super job, you couldn't take anything away from him. He was a deserved winner.
"Rosie tried her hardest, but just couldn't quite get there on the day.
After a big weekend for Droplet, Kropp said she'll be back on track in the next few weeks with hopefully a few more wins in sight.
"We're going to give her a reasonable easy week, and see what's there for her in the next fortnight or three weeks,” Kropp said.