By Adrian Ceddia
BROM Felinity saluted for only the second time in 18 starts after streeting the field in the 2006 Werribee Cup last week.
The Jim Mason-trained five-year-old cruised to the line after a faultless ride by in-form jockey Craig Newitt.
In front of a bumper crowd, Brom Felinity won by three lengths from Ulysses and pre-race favourite Danzippo.
It has been a long, bumpy road for Mason and the connections of Brom Felinity, with its only previous win coming at Sale in May of last year.
But with 10 placings in 17 starts before Wednesday’s Cup, there was plenty of optimism in the camp about the mare’s chances at Werribee.
The win, worth $90,000, earned the horse more in a single race than it had conjured in all of its previous races combined.
The initial field of 16 was reduced to 13 after a series of pre-race scratchings, leaving the first three barriers empty.
Drawn perfectly in the inside barrier one, Newitt steered his mount into a great position on the rails down the back straight, before pouncing on the home turn.
By the time they straightened for home it was a matter only of the final margin, as Brom Felinity eased past the post.
Mason was a relieved man after the race, after watching plenty of near misses with the horse in the past.
“It’s been hard work,” Mason said.
“Today showed people just how good she is.”
“I’d like to thank Craig Newitt. You don’t ride them better than that.”
Newitt, who rode 2005 Werribee Cup winner Roman Arch to the Australia Cup this year, was also relieved to score in a race that has previously escaped him.
“It’s been a frustrating race for me in the past,” he said.
“It’s the one that’s got away, but today we finally got it.
“She’s got loads of ability and she’s finally come through.”
Second-placed Ulysses, trained by the in-form David Hayes, also performed admirably to run home well from barrier 13.
Punters’ favourite Danzippo was gallant but failed to make it four wins in a row.
Of the five New Zealand runners that took their place in the race, Jukebox Johnny was the best-placed in sixth position, with top weight Delvecchio finishing a disappointing ninth.
In the 10-race meeting, all races were won by different trainers and jockeys, with three pre-race favourites saluting victories.
Rockbank-trained De Beaumont was the winner of the first race, squeezing out favourite Aurelio by a long neck.
By Adrian Ceddia