A DROP back from group two company combined with a suitable wet track paved the way for House Of Cartier to win the $160,000 Wagga Gold Cup on Friday.
Sydney trainer John Sargent and Central Coast jockey Jess Taylor combined as House Of Cartier ($5.00) proved too tough for her rivals to win the listed Navigate Advisors Wagga Gold Cup (2000m).
It was a victory for New Zealand, with House Of Cartier owned by Wellfield Lodge's Peter Gillespie and Bill Gleeson, as well as being trained by Sargent, a Kiwi now training out of Randwick.
House Of Cartier sat on the speed and stole a race-winning advantage by halfway down the straight, where he had booted three lengths clear, before holding off a late charge from Maurus ($5.50) to score by a half length.
Warwick Farm trainer John Thompson had to settle for second and third as his pair, Maurus and Master Of Arts ($8.50), four lengths further back in third, filled out the minor placings.
Sargent was thrilled to take out the Wagga Gold Cup with his four-year-old mare.
"It's fantastic. I love going down to Wagga. I went down there a couple of years ago with Tinkermosa and won the Guineas. The owners had a fantastic time," Sargent said.
"The Wagga Gold Cup is a great race to win, it's black type for my New Zealand owners. Wellfield, that own the horse, they stand Almosa, so it's a great thrill for them and puts a lot of value on her.
"I like the horse. She's just had bad draws and been unlucky. I said to Jess just get her rolling, she's got a high-cruising rate and she said when she got to the front, she had blinkers back on today, she got a bit lost, that's why it looked closer than what it was.
"It was a great effort."
Sargent also singled out Taylor for her efforts.
"Jess is a very underrated rider, she rides well in Sydney and rides winners here," he said.
"I don't know why she doesn't get more rides, she's got beautiful hands and is a very good rider."
The win capped off a feature race double for Sargent after his three-year-old filly Foxborough took out the Guineas by five and a half lengths.
"She likes the cut out of the track. She's been group placed over a mile, second in the Fernhill beaten a nose, and that was her race today at the weights and the class she was racing against," Sargent said.
Sargent plans to back House Of Cartier up in Saturday week's Gosford Gold Cup (2000m), to be held at Randwick.