WHEN the field was announced for the running of the Garrard’s Horse & Hound Tamworth City Cup on Sunday night at the Tamworth Carnival of Cups meeting there were two last-start winners.
Bathurst pacer Fouroeight, from the Mat Rue stabl,s had drawn the 10 barrier and came into the race after winning the Oberon Cup at Bathurst on January 15 with a mile rate of 1.57.2 over 2260 metres.
Pitch Perfect, from the Roy Roots jnr stable, was taking the eight barrier and came into the Cup race off a last start win at Menangle on January 9 in 1.55.3 for 2300 metres.
It was touted that there would be a showdown between the two runners . . . and the crowd were not disappointed.
With both pacers settling at the back of the field it was Mat Rue who made the first race move, racing three-wide around the field to take up the lead in the first lap with Fouroeight.
Pitch Perfect’s reinsman Tom Ison then elected to make his move around the field to race outside Fouroeight.
“Fouroeight did a lot of work early in the race for that whole first lap where he was three deep,” said Ison.
“Once he settled that was our chance to get around and get to him.
“Once we got there, we just kept him honest and got the better of him late.”
Racing stride-for-stride out of the back straight on the final occasion, Pitch Perfect only found the lead over the concluding stages in the home straight to come away for an eight-metre win over Fouroeight.
Warfare, from the Dean Chapple stables, finished third, 18.5 metres away with the gelding having his first race start since April, 2020 at Shepparton.
Ison felt that Pitch Perfect, who paid $3.80 for the win was a “moral” although it was Fouroeight who went out as the $1.50 favourite.
“His last 1,200 metres when he won at Menangle two weeks ago was pretty impressive, he had a bit of pressure early and just kept going,” said Ison.
After driving 152 winners and 200 placings last season, Ison has kicked off the new season with satisfaction, taking out his first Garrard’s Horse and Hound Tamworth City Cup on his old home track.
- JULIE MAUGHAN