Albury apprentice jockey Fiona Sandkuhl enjoyed the biggest thrill of her short in career in winning the Griffith Cup on Saturday.
Wangaratta trainer Craig Weeding made a successful raid across the border and combined with Sandkuhl on Claptone ($3.00) to win the $17,000 Yenda Group Griffith Cup (1350m).
Claptone was sent out a well-supported favourite and kicked away to score by a length, running away, after being challenged by Bezazzled ($4.00) midway down the straight.
Bezazzled held off for second, with Sun Of Spartacus ($21) a further length back in third.
The Cup win was just Sandkuhl's third career victory after just over 20 race rides.
"It felt great. Really exciting," Sandkuhl said.
"When I crossed the line, I still don't really know how to feel, it's still a big shock when I cross the line, especially to win a Cup. It was a really great feeling.
"I was really grateful to be riding Claptone, as he's got some good form recently. It was a really great feeling and I'm really grateful that I had the opportunity to ride such a good horse."
Sandkuhl had Claptone up close to the speed. She hit the front upon straightening and was challenged briefly by Bezazzled, before the horse found again and kicked away.
"When he come up my inside, I was thinking to myself, oh, he got a bit close there and I let him come through on the corner but as soon as Claptone reached head and head, he just found that extra gear and picked up and found the line really well," she said.
"It gave him that bit of extra boost to keep on running."
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The 21-year-old is apprenticed to leading trainer Mitch Beer, who she has been with 18 months after initially spending time with Victorian trainers George Osborne and Patrick Payne.
Sandkuhl hopes the Cup win can help launch her career.
"Absolutely. The more winners you get, the more your name comes out. I think having a country cup as my third win, hopefully brings my name out a little bit more and I might get a bit of support from other trainers as well," she said.
"To land a Cup for Craig at my first ride was really great. Hopefully we've started a good relationship.
"I'm really glad to have the support of Mitch, and to have so many rides. To get my first winner for him as well, was amazing. It was really good to have my first winner (Snowbella) on one of Mitch's."
Beer had a good day, picking up a win with Sydney Blue ($1.80) in the Hotel Victoria Class One & Maiden Plate (1820m).
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