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Cuban state of mind

Ultra-consistent Cuban State showed great courage to score a narrow win on Geelong Cup day, Wednesday, October 19.

Sent out the $4 favourite, the Tony & Calvin McEvoy trained five-year-old scored a head win in the Marcus Oldham College Benchmark 70 Handicap (1700m).

Well ridden by Blake Shinn, Cuban State surged late to defeat Ima Shelby ($5) with Wuddzz ($26) a long head away third.

The gelding jumped well and Shinn allowed him to balance up in third position before improving approaching the home turn.

Cuban State singled out with the runner up and they had a stirring duel over the final 300 metres.

Shinn kept something for the last 50 metres and lifted the gelding for a photo finish win.

Cuban State now has four wins and six placings from just 15 starts.

Trainer Tony McEvoy was full of praise for the winner.

“He has done a wonderful job for a horse that has had two throat operations,” McEvoy said.

“He just gives his all – and two of seconds could also have been wins.

“Blake (Shinn) chose to go forward from his wide gate today, and I am not sure that is that way to ride him.

“Credit to Blake, Cuban State was still good enough to win.

“The runner up definitely had an advantage up the home straight, but our horse refused to give in and did enough to grab the win.”

McEvoy said Cuban State would be given the chance to build on his record at Ballarat on Saturday, November 19.

The race selected is the $130,00 McKellar Mile (1600m), a benchmark 78 handicap.