Soleseifei wins Wellington Cup for LuptonSunday 19 January 2020
Soleseifei has revived memories of the legendary Kiwi with her win in the Group Three Wellington Cup, one of few Australasian feature races left over 3200 metres.
The Snow Lupton-trained Kiwi won the race in 1983 and went on to a memorable last-to-first victory in that year's Melbourne Cup, also over 3200m.
Trained by Lupton's grand-daughter Jamie-Lee and carrying the same colours as Kiwi, Soleseifei completed a fairytale result for the family with her win at Trentham on Saturday.
Lupton prepared her charge for Saturday's famous Trentham two-miler with an encouraging performance for third in the Listed Marton Cup (2200m) two weeks earlier
Any thoughts of receiving an easy run in the race were dashed early on when rider Trudy Thornton found herself trapped three-wide leaving the straight for the first time with the mare forced to cover extra ground throughout the race.
Thornton made her move approaching the home corner and sent Soleseifei to the lead on straightening. Soleseifei kicked clear before being hotly challenged by Toms and The Good Fight over the final 200m.
In a blanket finish Thornton threw Soleseifei over the line half a head in front of The Good Fight with Toms just a further head away in third.
Lupton was swamped by her extended family and a large bunch of well-wishers in the Trentham birdcage as she struggled to take in what she had just achieved.
"It's pretty thrilling after Snowy did it with Kiwi and it's just lovely for the mare to do it too," she said.
"She had a trouble-free run because nothing was falling back on her as she has had that the whole way through.
"She is a bit of a cripple and I spend a fair bit of time with her but she never goes a bad race and she tries really hard."