It was a thrilling end to the 2017 Akubra Kempsey Cup as Lippy and Pearls edged out Explosive Scene in a battle for the prestigious prize.
Lippy and Pearls was one of the outsiders heading into the race and to make matters worse owner and trainer Ross Owens was forced into a jockey change.
Matthew Paget suffered an injury in a ride earlier in the day and jockey Serge Lisnyy stepped up for the ride.
Read more: All the action from the 2017 Kempsey Cup
The late change didn’t impact the horse as it proved the quickest on the home straight.
Owens, who is a resident of Taree, was surprised to see his horse first past the post.
“I didn’t think it was going to win it, but I am glad it did,” Owens told the Argus.
“I couldn’t get it into anywhere else so I entered it here.”
It was a wise decision from Owens as his horse picked up its most prestigious career victory.
Kempsey Race Club president John Graham said the day was a huge success and claimed it was a new attendance record.
“We don’t have the final figures but I have been here for 40 years and this is the most people i’ve ever seen,” Graham said.
“It’s been a great day. The cup is good for Kempsey and good for the Macleay.”
The final top three placings were Lippy and Pearls first, Explosive Scene second and Present Sense third.