John Thompson has continued his heady start to the season with Cuba landing an all-the-way win at Randwick to give the trainer his ninth metropolitan victory this term.
He went on with the job in Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap (1400m), bouncing to the front and never being headed to score by three-quarters of a length from Super Star Bob ($9) with another 1-3/4 lengths to Excelsior ($61).
Thompson said Cuba had been a different horse since he was gelded, although teaching him to become a competitor had taken time.
“He was a bit of a non-trier as a colt,” Thompson said.
“When we gelded him it probably took 12 months to get that out of him and he’s genuine-as now.
“He’s got a very high cruising speed. You could see he was still travelling and still had a kick in him and I was confident a long way out.”
While Thompson’s persistence with Cuba is being rewarded, so too is the perseverance of apprentice Chris Williams.
Williams is indentured to Thompson’s neighbour Les Bridge and has been keen to get the ride on Cuba after watching the horse at trackwork most mornings.
Thompson has made one of his best starts to a season with his tally of wins including a maiden stakes success to Sweet Deal in the Tibbie Stakes on Friday’s Newcastle Cup program