Jockey Tommy Berry has dedicated his Wagga Wagga Gold Cup win on Abdon to his mate Tye Angland who had won the race 12 months earlier in the same colours belonging to Richard Pegum.
Angland won the 2018 Wagga Wagga Gold Cup on the Chris Waller-trained Life Less Ordinary but the multiple Group One-winning jockey, who hails from the Riverina area, suffered spinal injuries in a race fall in Hong Kong last November which have left him a quadriplegic.
Jockeys at this year’s two-day carnival in country NSW were vying for the inaugural Tye Angland Medal, presented to the leading rider at the carnival.
Berry guided the Waller-trained six-year-old gelding Abdon to victory in Friday’s feature, with the $3.30 favourite defeating High Opinion and Willi Willi who filled the minor placings in the 2000m Listed race.
“It’s extra special this year. Obviously Tye was riding in these colours last year,” Berry told Sky Racing.
Blaike McDougall won the feature race on Thursday’s program, the Wagga Town Plate on Ghostly, and was awarded the Tye Angland Medal.
Abdon settled back in the field in the Cup before working into the race to hit the front early in the home straight.
Abdon and High Opinion battled it out for much of the straight before the favourite edged clear late to score by half a length.
“I was a bit worried when they backed off the tempo mid-race but the horses that were three-wide in front of me started to make a move before the corner which took me into the race nicely,” Berry said.
“I got there a lot earlier than I expected and wanted to get there, but class prevailed.”