By HARRY CLARKE

DALBY horse trainer David Reynolds and his champion runner Rather Salubrious will return home heroes of Queensland bush racing after storming to victory in the Country Cups Challenge final for 2021.

Despite carrying 60.5kg and jumping wide from barrier 14, apprentice jockey Wendy Peel delivered a sensational ride on Rather Salubrious to win at Doomben by two lengths.

The 6YO bay mare makes history as the first horse to win both the Battle of the Bush and Country Cups Challenge in the same year.

Wendy Peel storms home on Rather Salubrious to win the 2021 Country Cups Challenge at Doomben

The win brings Rather Salubrious’s prize money to more than $320,000, and her track record to 13 wins and 17 placings from 55 starts – a good earner for Reynolds, who purchased the horse as a 3-year-old for $12,000 and retains an 80 percent share.

“I knew that she was going to be right there when it mattered, but I didn’t think she was going to put them way like she did,” Reynolds said.

“She’s a quality horse and that’s what gets them over the line. The weight’s never stopped her before. She was a hundred percent right today and I was really confident.”

Trainer David Reynolds and jockey Wendy Peel in a big embrace after their Country Cups Challenge win.
An elated Wendy Peel celebrates victory with the horse she nicknames the “Winx of the Bush”

Peel and Rather Salubrious have made a hugely successful combination in 2021.

Peel was on board for the horse’s emphatic win in the Battle of the Bush race at Doomben in June, and steered her to victory with 63kg at Yeppoon in September to qualify for the Country Cups Challenge.

“She jumped really well from that outside alley and got to the fence. I popped one off when I got the chance,” Peel said.

“She needs a bit of momentum and she was just too good. She got me into it really strongly from the 700m.

“She’s a funny, quirky mare, she’ll try and bite you and kick you but I love that about her. She’s just so tough and she tried 110 percent.

“I call her the Winx of the Bush and basically she is. She tries every time. I just love her.”

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