Twenty years after Bob Dailey thought his days of dabbling in thoroughbreds were behind him, It’s Me has delivered him a double hit with her barnstorming Kosciuszko victory.
Not only is Dailey one of the mare’s part-owners, he is also the winning slot holder, snapping up his own horse after his ticket was pulled out in the public sweepstake.
“I got the big payday,” Dailey said.
The Newcastle businessman only recently returned to racing horses after a two-decade hiatus.
“We used to breed horses back in the 80s and 90s and in ’99 we thought we’d had enough and we got out,” Dailey said.
But a few years ago, he was lured back in, buying his wife Kerrie a share in a horse called Onemoreforluck through Grand Syndicates.
While the mare had moderate success, the racing bug had bitten again and when Grand Syndicates offered another yearling filly for sale, Dailey dropped his wife a subtle hint.
“I suggested to my wife a share in that was a nice birthday present and she came through,” he said.
The filly turned out to be It’s Me and Dailey is enjoying the ride of his life.
Trained at Scone by Brett Cavanough, It’s Me had to overcome a health scare this week when she developed a cough and a subsequent scope revealed mucus in her throat.
Cavanough admitted he would have scratched her but he listened to the advice of his vets, who cleared her to start.
It wasn’t clear sailing in the run either as Jason Collett was walled up behind horses but he got It’s Me into the clear and she zoomed down the outside to nail Redouble in the final bounds.
Man Of Peace held on for third after leading, just ahead of last year’s winner Handle The Truth.
The $1.3 million The Kosciuszko is the world’s richest race for country-trained horses and Cavanough was honoured to win it.
Making it even more special was the fact It’s Me had spent her whole career trained in the country, while some rivals were originally from city stables and transferred to target the rich race.
“It’s a pinnacle for country trainers. We all want to win it,” Cavanough said.
“The city people sent their Group Two horse down to Albury, good luck to them. They tried, they went close but it didn’t work.
“It just goes to show a little country mare got the job done. It’s all country this.”
Cavanough confirmed It’s Me was still in contention for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle later this month.