Four Up For Diamond Dan by The Gurkha
Whilst Adam Durrant was the star of the show over the Round, Lopov’s Kalgoorlie Cup victory made it four wins in the event for his jockey Daniel Staeck.
The former Kalgoorlie apprentice has never waned in his love affair with the Goldfields great race since he first won the coveted prize on Priceless Matt for George Grljusich back in 2005.
He teamed up with Mark Read to win the Cup in 2009 with Gondorff and 2011 Kincaple but Saturdays win on Lopov was a result of his single minded focused preparation from the hard-nosed jockey.
Staeck’s belief in Lopov continued to grow and after studying replays of his previous wins in Victoria where he was trained by Danny Obrien, Staeck became increasingly confident.
“Once I looked at some of his previous Victorian wins particularly his 2400 metre Caulfield win for Glen Boss, I knew he had the ability to win the Cup.” Staeck told the Gurkha
“I decided to concentrate on winning the Cup and that’s why I didn’t go to Kalgoorlie for the Hannans.”
“He is a hard horse to ride so I focused in on my strength and boxing training all week and when I arrived in Kalgoorlie on Saturday morning, I was confident that physically and mentally I was in the zone.”
“The race panned out as expected and when we hit the front before the home bend it was going to take a special effort for any horse to run me down.”
“Winning the Cup is special! My plan is to keep coming back every year to win as many more of these races as possible.”
Staeck displayed his new found dedication to his craft by returning straight home to Perth to ride at the Belmont Park Sunday meeting.
“Last year I let a lot of people down including myself when I didn’t honour my engagements after winning on Kincaple.”
“I see myself as a role model for the younger apprentices and want to set the right example.”
Staeck rode the last winner at Belmont Park on Tricky Syd a horse that gave Staeck a devilish ride before winning.
“I had a difficult ride for a difficult trainer so I had to be a t my best!” Staeck said on the Big Breakfast, referring to Tricky Syd and his trainer Kellie Kersley who just happens to be Staeck’s partner.