Deserving Win for Memphis Tennessee in Roxburgh Cup

Deserving Win for Memphis Tennessee in Roxburgh Cup

4th January 2022

Bruce Stewart

It might have been a small field, but the Peters Generics Roxburgh Cup provided the most entertaining race of the day at the annual Roxburgh meeting today.

A Bettor Act, Idealism and Tommy Waterhouse all had turns at making the pace in the 2700 metre feature, but it was diminutive war horse Memphis Tennessee that took home the prize, thanks to a brilliant drive by Johnny Morrison.

Winning driver Johnny Morrison

With the action happening at the top of the race Morrison held back all his artillery until the second half. By that stage Kirstin Barclay had taken Tommy Waterhouse to the front and he looked to have a bit of a breather. Rather than sit back and wait for a sprint home, which Memphis Tennessee may not have won due to the tight turning Roxburgh circuit, Morrison elected to move Memphis Tennessee forward to sit parked, pressuring  the leader Tommy Waterhouse. It was a tough slog up the straight, but Memphis Tennessee found plenty of heart to beat Artatac who came home late, by a head.

“It was a great drive. It was quite an aggressive race and it worked out good for us,” said Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray.

The winning time of 3-21.5 was a new Cup and track record. The previous record of 3-22.9 was set by 2014 Roxburgh Cup winner Comply Or Die.

Memphis Tennessee (8) winning the Roxburgh Cup -Photo Monica Toretto

“He’s a gutsy wee fella. He had a couple of hard runs at Addington at the start of the season then he had a wee issue. We put him out over Cup Week and that’s the best thing we could have done. He always seems to come right at Christmas New Year.”

Owned by Robert and Sharon Symon the six-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding has been a regular runner in the south since he was a young horse. He was initially trained by Terry and Glenys Chmiel who won five races with him including the 2019 Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes at Ascot Park. He’s been in the Gray stable since October 2020 and has now won five races from that stable, three in the hands of Morrison.

The Roxburgh Cup is part of the Southern Country Cup Series and Memphis Tennessee joins Jimmy Arma (Oamaru), Paddyproudfoot (Tuapeka), Plutonium Lady (Wairio) and Johnny Mac (Gore) as early winners in the thirteen-heat series.

The next heat is the Cromwell Cup on Thursday followed by the Riverton Cup on 12th February. The $30,000 final will be held on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Saturday 30th April.