2020 Walcha Cup | Hammoon Ballad wins $35,000 race

DYNAMIC DUO: Brooke Stower pilots Hammoon Ballad to victory over New Endeavour (Ben Looker) in the Walcha Cup. Photo: Bradley Photographers
DYNAMIC DUO: Brooke Stower pilots Hammoon Ballad to victory over New Endeavour (Ben Looker) in the Walcha Cup. Photo: Bradley Photographers

Hammoon Ballad has edged New Endeavour to win the $35,000 Walcha Cup (1400m) on Friday.

In-form Brooke Stower rode the Sue Grills-trained four-year-old mare to her fifth win in 19 starts, boasting her career prize money to more than 119,000.

Hammoon Ballad paid $5 for the win (TAB fixed odds).

The Gavin Groth-trained Redemption Road (Qin Yong) was third, 1.5 lengths behind Hammoon Ballad.

After jumping from barrier one, Stower kept Hammoon Ballad on the rail, just behind the leaders, before steering the chestnut to the middle of the track at the top of the straight and holding off the Stirling Osland-trained New Endeavour over the last 400m.

Grills said Stower, originally from Toowoomba, rode Hammoon Ballad "a treat".

"It worked out really well," Grills said. "You know, barrier one makes life a lot easier.

"We had a great run in the race, and Brooke got around them at the right time. Very happy, very pleasing."

Grills said Hammoon Ballad - whom she "freshened up" for the race - normally got further back in the field, but a lack of speed meant that didn't happen.

She described the horse as a "handy little mare without being a superstar". "She's always been honest and runs well all the time."

Grills is now eyeing a Quirindi Cup start for the horse on February 21.

She said Stower was a hard worker and a "lovely person".

There were nine runners in the feature race of an eight-race TAB meeting, with the Walcha Jockey Club hosting a five-race non-TAB meeting on Saturday.

KODAK MOMENT: Jockey Brooke Stower and Tamworh trainer Sue Grills (centre) with the connections of Walcha Cup winner Hammoon Ballad. Photo: Bradley Photographers

KODAK MOMENT: Jockey Brooke Stower and Tamworh trainer Sue Grills (centre) with the connections of Walcha Cup winner Hammoon Ballad. Photo: Bradley Photographers