Bruce and Warrior win the Grafton Cup
Jul 15, 2011
By Nathan Exelby, Courier Mail.
AN emotional Bruce Hill celebrated his biggest success as a trainer when Paul Hammersley guided Warrior Within to an upset win in the Grafton Cup yesterday.
Gold Coast-based Hill fought back tears after cheering home his tough stayer, who last year finished a close fifth behind Twin Wing.
Hill said Warrior Within thrived on racing, with this his 11th run this campaign. He won the Murwillumbah Cup by a big space two starts back and was on the heels of the placegetters in the Caloundra Cup, but punters shunned him as a $26 chance.
"Personally it's just a really good feeling. It probably would be the best (moment in racing) for me," Hill said.
"He's had a lot of knockers this horse, so that makes it extra special as well."
Like Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, Warrior Within is a Magic Millions ready-to-run graduate of Kevin Thomas's Washpool Lodge.
Hill went to $58,000 to secure the son of King Cugat.
Hill and Hammersley had been hoping for a wet track, and their confidence wasn't helped when the track was upgraded to a good 2 during yesterday's meeting.
"He has been competitive on the dry track before but he's had a lot of bad luck at different times," Hill said.
"Right from the start we had this race in mind. He's been racing really good."
The association between Hammersley and Hill dates back to the trainer's days as stable foreman for Gerald Ryan, with wins headed by Mon Mekki's Queensland Oaks.
"It's good to pay back people who look after you," Hammersley said.
"He's probably not quite as good as some of these horses, but the ticker he's got showed in the end.
"We thought it wasn't wet enough at Caloundra and coming here we thought the same but he's a good old campaigner and he tries his guts out."