AS SURPRISING as it sounds, premier horsewoman Emma Stewart registered her biggest training success at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight.
Although she has won more than 100 Group Ones, Stewart reached a new peak by capturing the prestigious A G Hunter Cup.
In what is just her second success on the Grand Circuit, Stewart was triumphant with star pacer, Honolua Bay, which was driven to perfection by David Moran.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Stewart said. “These are the races where you really want to stand up and tonight we’ve been able to do that.
“We’ve had runners in several Hunter and Victoria Cups, the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion, but just haven’t been able to crack one of the big ones until tonight.
“My brother Sam has done a lot of the work with Honolua Bay and deserves a big mention and a lot of credit.”
Settled midfield in the running line as Spirit Of St Louis withstood numerous challenges for the lead, Honolua Bay was three-wide around the final turn before being masterfully angled to the pegs to be behind the pacemaker at the top of the home straight.
Finishing brilliantly along the sprint lane, the son of Somebeachsomewhere completed a four-and-a-half metre win from I Cast No Shadow.
Old Town Road was a half-head away third in 1:55.2 over 2760 metres.
“It panned out perfectly,” Moran said. “I was three-wide and would have had to have gone wider to get a run then I saw the one behind the leader dropping back and a big gap opening.
“Once I got him to the inside, I knew I had them covered.”
To be given a “few easy days”, Honolua Bay will then head to Club Menangle in search of a Miracle Mile berth on March 4.