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Rosemont Runaway with local Cup

4 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Runaway (Manhattan Rain) secured a huge hometown success for Rosemount Stud with a tough all-the-way win in the G3 bet365 Geelong Cup on Wednesday.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained 4-year-old, ridden by Stephen Baster, repelled a host of international challengers to lead a stable quinella, with Northwest Passage (So You Think {NZ}) second.

Waterhouse said post-race that the win was a terrific success for Rosemont's owners, Anthony Mithen and Nigel Austin, who operate their stud just 20kms out of Geelong.

"He was very strong today. They had no chance of running him down and he had no intention of stopping and he won't either when he runs again!" - Gai Waterhouse

Rosemont bred Runaway and stayed in him when Waterhouse and Julian Blaxland paid $150,000 for the rig at the 2016 Australian Easter Sale.

"Anthony and Nigel both said to me, we want to win the Geelong Cup. They had one horse in the stable in Melbourne and that was Runaway, so there was no discussion," she said.

"He was very strong today. They had no chance of running him down and he had no intention of stopping and he won't either when he runs again!"

Runaway was a $150,000 yearling

With just 50.5kg, Runaway is well down the order in Melbourne Cup entry and would be unlikely to get enough of a penalty to get him into the race.

"Do we talk him up and say there is no stopping him today to get 8kgs and go straight to the Melbourne Cup?" Mithen joked.

"I'll leave it to Greg Carpenter because he's the best judge in the business."

"We've got a horse who has ran third in a (SA) Derby, wins a St Leger and is Aussie-bred, 20 mins that way, he deserves his spot. And I reckon Greg will too."

"Nige puts on a bit of a show here on Geelong Cup Day which has become a bit of a legendary party. I reckon we might turn the volume up a little bit." - Anthony Mithen

In what has been a spring of successes for Rosemont, this one was particularly sweet for Mithen, who made his name as a local sports media identity, and Austin, who founded the Cotton On clothing brand which has become one of Geelong's most significant businesses.

Anthony Mithen with jockey, Stephen Baster

"Nige puts on a bit of a show here on Geelong Cup Day which has become a bit of a legendary party. I reckon we might turn the volume up a little bit," Mithen said.

"I've ridden him a fair bit and the owners have been great to me, they have just kept putting me on, it’s their hometown Cup. It's a bit of a dream come true for them really." - Jockey, Stephen Baster

It was also a memorable win for Baster, who had ridden Runaway in seven of his ten previous starts since he came from Waterhouse's Sydney stables.

"I've ridden him a fair bit and the owners have been great to me, they have just kept putting me on, it’s their hometown Cup. It's a bit of a dream come true for them really."

"I was obviously concerned (if he could lead all the way), because of the class step-up, but he'd done it before. He's stepped up to a St Leger and showed he was a good horse. Coming into today, I thought he was a good chance as long as he wasn't annoyed in front. It was a good training effort."

Runaway and his winning connections

Finche (GB) (Frankel {GB}) led home the international contingent in the field in third in his first start for Chris Waller. He loomed at the top of the straight but couldn't run down the leaders.

The Melbourne Cup campaign of Withhold (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) is over after the Roger Charlton trained import bled from both nostrils and finished eighth.