TRAINER Kylie Kennedy is confident of more improvement from Pennyforyathoughts after an exciting win as the $3 favourite in the $21,000 Japan Cowra Cup (1200m).
The former Tracey Bartley gelding on Sunday made it three wins for Kennedy's Narromine stable and two in a row after winning at Warren on December 30.
In a driving finish, jockey Mathew Cahill got the best out of the winner to hold out the fast finishing Hewentwhoosh ($5.50, Hannah Martin) by a half head, with Thereheiz ($5.50, Carl Spry) 1-1/2 lengths back in third place.
"It was a really good win considering he was stepping up in grade and there's still a few problems we still have to sort out," Kennedy said.
"The owners would have liked to see him run in the Gilgandra Cup but I wasn't keen on the idea as he hangs in a bit and the small track at Gil wasn't going to help him. So we made it the Japan Cup instead and it's all worked out well."
Kennedy said the instructions for jockey Mathew Cahill were fairly simply: "I said to Matty don't argue with him. He races better when he's allowed to roll along and is more comfortable. When his riders try to take control of him he hangs in and that's usually the end of his chances," she said.
Riding on his home track, Cahill was one of the first out of the barriers and was on the speed to lead at the turn. The gelding kicked clear although it was obvious that Hewentwhoosh would be the danger when he got into the clear and made his run.
But the post came at the right time and there was no doubting the decision.
Kennedy's next mission for her gelding will probably be a 1200m open handicap at Dubbo mid February.
Pennyforyathoughts is raced by the Thistle Racing Syndicate which includes members of the Butler family from Mudgee who bred the Planchet out of Sanskate (NZ) gelding.
His record now stands at five wins and eight placings from 25 starts and prize money of just over $60,000 in prize money.
The feature race at Cowra on Sunday was the $25,000 Lachlan Hotel Cowra Sky Gold Cup (1700m) won easily by the $2.20 favourite Signoret, trained at Canberra by Matthew Dale and ridden by Brendan Ward.
Mathew Cahill's mount Desert Melody ($12) was 4-1/4 lengths back in second place with Greg Ryan on My Dear Friend ($9) third.
Ryan broke through for his only win of the day in the last race when Mrs Kenzies ($8.50) won for Wagga trainer Trevor Sutherland.