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Gene Andrew needs a new hat.
The Awapuni trainer pulled off the highlight of his career when winning the $225,000 Group III New Zealand Cup at Riccarton.
It is a nice return on the $500 his cup winner Jimmy Mac set him back.
Jimmy Mac's win in 152nd edition of the cup will make his own wee slice of history as one of the great underdog stories.
Andrew was wearing a Darci Brahma cap on Saturday but Jimmy Mac is by unfashionable sire Zed.
The 7-year-old gelding is out of Go Annie Go, a mare that was owned by Andrew's mother.
Zed was so underrated as a sire that four years ago he spent time serving Clydesdales at Erewhon Station in Mid Canterbury after initially standing at Wairarapa's Little Avondale Stud.
"When Zed first came out they had a $500 cash deal and that's where he came from," Andrew said.
When quizzed if he would be wearing a Zed hat next time to the races, Andrew said he would be getting a Jimmy Mac hat and with the healthy following his horse has, he could turn that into a profit too.
Jimmy Mac, aided by a peach of a ride from Lisa Allpress, came out of the pack in front of a sold out Riccarton crowd to chase down race leader and local hero Southern Sav to win by half a length, with topweight Benzini a distant five lengths further back in third.
"It's just a dream come true, I still can't believe he's actually done it," Andrew said.
Jimmy Mac will now head to the Wellington and Auckland Cups to chase down the $1 million bonus on offer if he can win all three races or $250,000 if he can put his name of just one of the cups.
Andrew watched the cup on his own from the public stand.
"I get pretty nervous so I don't watch it with the owners because they get pretty fired up and you can hear them a mile away," Andrew quipped.
He races Jimmy Mac with Leon Andrew, Peter McGillicuddy, Marise Richardson and Cheryl White.
"It's great for the owners because they are all family so even if he runs last they still celebrate."
Andrew only has two horses in work, the other is a 3-year-old full brother to Jimmy Mac.
He also has yearling out of Go Annie Go but he will be the last one because she died just a month after giving birth to him.
Zed is well bred by Zabeel out of Group I winning mare Emerald Dream but his own racing career was limited to one win from four starts due to a ligament injury.
Punters rated Jimmy Mac a strong chance at $5.30 on the tote but even though Andrew thought his run for third behind Southern Sav in the Metropolitan was the perfect cup trial after not racing for five weeks, he was hardly beaming with confidence.
"There's usually no pressure but I was pretty wound up today.
"It was a strong field and I knew there were at least seven or eight horses that could win it."
Andrew said the mid-week rain was a game changer for Jimmy Mac who prefers dead or slow tracks.