Australia

Back

Etah James (NZ) wins Pakenham Cup

Apprentice Fred Kersley notched the biggest win of his career and celebrated accordingly aboard Etah James (NZ) in Saturday's $300,000 Listed Sportsbet Pakenham Cup (2500m).

Kersley, who had teamed up with trainer Matt Cumani earlier in the day to win an open handicap over 1400 metres with Future Score, combined with the Ballarat-based stable in the Cup, causing a boilover result.

Etah James ($61) raced outside the leader Runaway ($26) and applied pressure to last year's Geelong Cup winner before taking the lead early in the straight.

Etah James appeared under siege with 300m remaining but kept finding under pressure to score by 1.5 lengths, with Kersley standing high in the irons in celebration with 50m left.

Secret Blaze ($2.20 favourite) battled away gamely for second, with Midterm ($21) and Valac ($31) next best.

Fred Kersley signals the win, picture Quentinjlang.com

"I had to use a bit of her at the start of the race to sit outside Runaway but in all honesty we had it a bit easy down the back," Kersley said.

"This horse came from the Sandown Cup (over 3200m), beaten 1.4 lengths, to here today back to 2500 metres and I thought I needed to get going a bit earlier.

"Speaking to the boss (Cumani) earlier today, he gave me a fair bit of confidence. The horse was rock-hard fit for today and had been working up nicely with Future Score."

Kersley, 20, described the win aboard Etah James as his 'biggest achievement'.

"I've never won a black type race so to get that it means a lot to me. I didn't think I stood up too high in the irons but maybe I did - I'm a tall lad," he quipped.

Etah James will now be prepared for the $160,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day.

Kersley and Etah James (NZ), picture Quentinjlang.com

Share/Bookmark