Tom Tarver-Priebe is celebrating the biggest win of his career. He and his in-form Popeye were one of six combinations from the initial 36 starters to come back for the jump-off. There, he was third to go and laid down a mighty challenge to those who followed with a stunning clear in 43.83 seconds. Next out was Australian visitor Brooke Langbecker on her stunning chestnut stallion Quintago I who was also clear but didn’t chase Tarver-Priebe’s time, opting for the steady clear in 52.32 seconds. Defending champ William Willis and Dollar Roll came out firing and looked well on track until he dropped a brick from the wall. Tarver-Priebe was ecstatic and happy to share the win with all who had helped him – his partner Lucia Voss, Popeye’s breeders Greg and Kim Best, Jesse Linton who had produced the horse and trainer John Cottle. The horse was almost sold to Japan last year, but as luck would have it, he didn’t.
Tarver-Priebe now faces the tricky decision as to whether he will start the talented eight-year-old grey in Sunday’s Olympic Cup. “We’ll be taking it day by day,” said the 32-year-old. “We’ll see how he goes in the Silver Fern and then make a decision.”
Results – Tom Tarver-Priebe, Popeye 1, Brooke Langbecker, Quintago I 2, William Willis, Dollar Roll MS 3, Clint Beresford, Emmaville Jitterbug 4, Katie Laurie, Cera Caruso 5, Brayden Aarts, LT Holst Aunty Annette 6.