The seemingly unstoppable Bruce Almighty (6 Gr. G. Deputy Governor – Striking Angel, by Straight Strike) struck again at Te Rapa racecourse in Hamilton on Saturday, at 30-1, when he proved too tough in the $100,000, Group II, Waikato Times Gold Cup, over 2400-metres.
Now the winner of fourteen races and $340,000, Bruce Almighty had recorded his previous victory in the $45,000, Listed, AG Challenge Stakes over a mile, under weight-for-age conditions, at Wanganui in June.
He also collected victories in the Gr3 Canterbury Gold Cup, Marlborough Cup, Taranaki Cup, Gore Cup and Greymouth Cup in the same season, while he had previously won the Taupo Cup.
Something of a Cups King, the steely grey had generally made the pace in securing his previous victories, but with blinkers off he settled in the trail for rider Michael Coleman before lodging his claim in the straight and holding the challengers at bay.
The least favoured of the three John Sargent runners, Dawn Ghost (Pyrus) finished three-quarters-of-a-length away in second, with a half-length to Tinseltown (Pentire), third.
Backed in late to start favourite, Tinseltown was sent on a searching run wide on the track by Craig Grylls to lead into the back straight and to his credit he stuck firmly to his guns under the top weight of 58-kilograms.
On good footing, the mile and a half journey was run in 2:28.15.
Trained on the beach at Matapihi in Tauranga by Stuart Manning, while owned by him and his partner Kaye Durrant, Bruce Almighty is said to love working on the beach, loves life and is a very fit horse.
“The only time he sees a track is at the races”, said Manning.
68-year-old Manning first started training at the age of twenty-one and apart from a four year break from the tasks involved of tending horses he has always held a license.