Ben Melham’s affinity with Escado has lifted the stayer out of a long losing streak in the Tattersall’s Cup at the Gold Coast.
Before Saturday’s Cup, Escado had been out of the winning list since the 2013 Group One South Australian Derby when he was ridden by Melham.
After settling in fourth place in the early stages of the Cup, Escado was taken to the front by Melham soon after straightening.
The five-year-old was challenged strongly but held off Shoreham ($8) to win by a head with Epingle, the $4.60 favourite, a length away third.
“He didn’t have a lot of luck last start from a wide gate but he drew better today and enjoyed a good run,” Melham said.
“He’s not the sort of horse you can stop momentum on and he built into the race strongly and powered to the line.”
Trainer Gerald Ryan was pleased with the effort of runner-up Shoreham who only recently entered his stables.
“He was very sharp today for a horse that’s been racing over two miles,” Ryan said.
“The Grafton Cup in a couple of weeks looks the right sort of race for him before he has a break.”
Epingle has run her last race and will be retired to stud.
“We were going to retire her after the Brisbane Cup but she ran such a great race that day we decided to give her one more go,” trainer Mick Kent said.
“She’s been a really good mare for the stable but it’s time to retire her now.”