How this cup winner 'executed' the race well
HORSES: Being lighter does not always mean being faster as the Nanango open Cup winner ''Executed' proved during Saturday's race.
Jockey Jason Missen on 'Executed' took the lead last minute after racing head-to-head alongside Hannah English on 'Fasta than Light' for nearly the entire 1600 metres.
The winning horses' owners Stan and Marilyn Johnston, from Craiglea Stud, were proud to win the XXXX Fitzroy Hotel Cheers Liquor House Nanango Cup Open Handicap.
Executed carried 11kg more than any other horse in the race, with Missen weighing in at 66kg.
"He's a good horse. He's won close to a half a million dollars," Stan said.
This victory also marked the first time the horse had raced more than a mile.
Stan said his family had been horse racing for 40 years and breed their own horses at their property in Kenilworth.
The love of horse racing runs in the family with Johnston's daughter, Krystle Johnston, the trainer of the winning horse.
"It's nice to win a cup, it's adds that extra pizzazz to the day," she said.
"The open horses are open for a reason, they've earned the right to be there."
The trainer said the winning horse executed the race well.
"I'm pretty excited, it's a pretty big achievement being 11kg heavier," she said.
"He is a very special horse, he's always had that extra class about him."
Krystle said Executed was getting better at racing as he got older.
"He's just a bit mental, his mind has beaten him a lot of times at a lot of races, but he's getting better as he gets older," she said.
"As he matures more he can settle and race further, which makes him a lot more versatile as a horse which is really helped his career carrying big weights."
Krystle has worked as a trainer for her parents for nearly six years.
"I enjoy it, I'm happy doing it as a team, as a family," she said.
"I love the horses that's why I do it, I'm passionate about the animals."
Working within the family means the pressure is shared.
"It's good mum and dad helps out with the nominations and finding the jockeys, that takes a lot of the stress out of it for me," Krystle said.
"That means I can fully concentrate on the horses and that makes it a lot easier on me and it's why I enjoy it a lot more."
Super Leon took the lead on the Nanango Cup's opening race, the Huston Nissan Maiden Plate, followed by Brigalow Queen and Craiglea Oscar.
The J.A. Lee Memorial Benchmark 60 Handicap race was won be New Alliance, followed by Brad the Lad and Pipemajor.
Siouxsie took the title for the Deb Frecklington MP Class B Handicap race, followed by Mont Mont and Swagman.
The fourth race, McDonalds Kingaroy's BenchMark 65 Handicap, was led by Brat Attack, followed by Haylee Prince and Man Overboard.
Executed was the Nanango Cup open winner, followed by Fasta Than Light and Gud Onya.
The final race, the Heritage Bank Nanango Benchmark 55 handicap was won by Half Moon Blue, followed by Marlahn and Shadow Empire.