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McEvoy Mitchell RacingLatest News Cuban State too strong

Cuban State too strong

A strong front-running performance by Cuban State gave trainers Tony & Calvin McEvoy a winning double on the Ballarat Synthetic on Monday, June 5.

Meetmein Melbourne was an impressive winner of the preceding race for the trainers, then Cuban State led throughout in the Porter Plant Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m).

The five-year-old, the well backed $1.90 favourite, responded to the hard riding of John Allen to score a three-quarter-length win from Sold Tha Car ($3.10) with Regal Effort ($51), 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Allen was caught wide early on Cuban State, sharing the lead, before crossing to the inside after 300 metres and heading into the home turn.

Once in the straight, the chasing pack tried to haul in the leader, but Allen, with the whip in his left hand, was at his vigorous best.

The runner up singled out as the main challenger, but Cuban State was always in control and too strong.

Trainer Calvin McEvoy admitted he was a little concerned early.

“Johnny (Allen) had to use him a bit early,” McEvoy said.

“I wasn’t enjoying watching it, I thought he might have got a bit of a cruisier run.

“He had to really tough it out, the front two ran home strongly together.

“We gave Johnny an open book on how to ride him.

“You only had to look at his last run – he was as good a thing beaten as you would see.

“Today, it was good to see him get a win.

“Cuban State has an excellent record on good ground, and the synthetic surfaces both here (Ballarat) and Pakenham, so he is nearly weighted out of them now.

“We need to look for good ground, which is probably at the wrong time of year.

“The horse did present beautifully today and thanks to all the team at home.”

Winning jockey John Allen said he had not been planning to find the front on Cuban State.

“I was expecting one or two to push forward, no-one wanted to, so I elected to roll forward,” Allen said.

“He’s had plenty of practice on this track before, so we went to the front and rolled along.

“He fought off the runner up in the home straight.

“When he came at me, I thought he might get me at the furlong (200m) pole but to our lad’s credit he put his head down and fought on strong.

“He has been a little bit stiff his past couple of starts, so today was a very good effort.”