Another cup for Arapaho at Canberra

Arapaho added another cup to his collection after proving too classy for his rivals in Monday’s $200,000 Canberra Cup.

The Bjorn Baker-trained gelding added he 2000-metre event to the Grafton Cup and Premier’s Cup that he has won since being recruited from France.

Arapaho has also placed in a Newcastle Cup, Caloundra Cup, City Tatts Cup and Muswellbrook Cup, but gave his connections their biggest thrill when he finished in the first half of the field in last year’s Melbourne Cup, and stable representative Glen Lobb said the Canberra feature looked a prime target.

“He went around in the Melbourne Cup last year and was a very creditable 11th in the run, so he’s been a very good horse since we got him,” Lobb said.

“It took him a long time to win one, but now he’s been very consistent. His last couple of runs he’s chased Anamoe home, so this did look an ideal race for him.”

After a Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) seventh placing at his first run after the Melbourne Cup, Arapaho was also seventh in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at his final start before the Canberra Cup.

Rachel King was aboard for those two runs, along with his final six runs of 2022, and had the son of Lope De Vega comfortably positioned midfield on settling before putting Arapaho into the race rounding the home turn and bursting to the front 250m from home.

The $3.70 second elect score by 1-1/2 lengths from Explosive Jack ($7.50), while another French import, Athabascan ($4.40), was a further length away, a nose in advance of $2.50 favourite Sacramento.

“He gave me a lot of confidence the whole race, but definitely from the 600 onwards he was bolting in behind them,” King said.

“I was hoping something might give more of a kick because he hit the front and pricked his ears and just really toyed with them today.

“He’s come back a bigger and stronger horse this prep.”

The Canberra Cup success was Arapaho’s seventh win, from 30 starts, with the $120,000 winner’s cheque lifting his career earnings to within $34,000 of $1 million.

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