Owner Gary Popp and jockey Dale Evans with two-time winner Ranger Hill and friends.
Owner Gary Popp and jockey Dale Evans with two-time winner Ranger Hill and friends. Strong Images Photography

Ranger Hill steals Melbourne Cup day with rare double win

IN AN outstanding performance at Gladsone Turf Club's Melbourne Cup race day on Tuesday, the Gary Popp owned and trained Ranger Hill stole the day, winning not one but two races.

He won the first race of the day, the Shadforths Constructions Class B Handicap (1194m) and backed it up in the last race of the day winning the Coates Hire Class B Handicap (1517m).

"It was a good feeling to win one race let alone two races in one day with the same horse," Popp said.

The Monto-based trainer often likes to bring his horses to Gladstone Turf Club, which he said was continually improving, and has found extra benefit in bringing Ranger Hill.

"He likes Gladstone sand."

Popp said he acquired Ranger Hill by chance, taking him from his brother when he decided not to race anymore.

Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert said the double win was the highlight of the day.

"It is a rarity. It has been a long time since it has happened in Gladstone."

Despite Ranger Hill's feat, Weinert said Base Jump's win in the Green Pepper Catering Class 1 Handicap, 850m was the most impressive race of the day.

Weinert said Base Jump's ability to drop down from winning a 1500m race just a couple of weeks ago to winning an 800m yesterday reflected on trainer Lee Keirnan's talent.

"He is a very good quality horse, he will win a few more."

A crowd of 1100 people poured through the gates to watch the local races, with race three Aggreko Maiden Plate 1000m won by Legal Dancer and race four Artrageous Graphic Designs Benchmark 65 Handicap, 1000m going to Zahmao, who was trained by Denis Schultz.



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