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Greenbushes-based gelding Lavra Joe still has plenty to give following Bunbury Pacing Cup win

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisBunbury Herald
Greenbushes-based Lavra Joe easily claimed the 2023 Furphy Bunbury Cup on Saturday.
Camera IconGreenbushes-based Lavra Joe easily claimed the 2023 Furphy Bunbury Cup on Saturday. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

The look on Lavra Joe’s face said it all as he scorched down the home straight to claim Saturday’s $50,000 Bunbury Pacing Cup (2569m) at Donaldson Park.

It was a look of “I belong and love being out here” as the five-year-old scored by 3.3m over pre-race fancy Magnificent Storm, while North Boyanup flyer Mighty Ronaldo ran third for trainer Justin Prentice.

Lavra Joe, no stranger to feature success during his career, entered the race having not greeted the judges since November 18 last year.

However Greenbushes trainer Ray Jones, who has never wavered in his support for the horse, knew the tide would eventually turn, even against quality opposition.

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Driven by perennial Bunbury Pacing Cup doyen Chris Lewis, the five-year-old maintained an ideal run along the pegs at the bell and was able hold his nerve, despite the pace intensifying during the closing stages.

Reinswoman Emily Suvaljko should also be commended for her drive with Mighty Ronaldo, coming from four back on the pegs at the bell to finish with a place.

Further back in the field, Capel’s Handsandwheels finished sixth, despite Aiden De Campo doing all he could to get the nine-year-old home.

Incredibly, the victory was Lewis’s ninth Bunbury Pacing Cup as a driver, having first saluted in 1980.

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