Ted Medhurst answers the phone and after the introductions he simply says, “you little beauty Wes!”
“It was just a dream come true. You watch it happen to others, and to have some small involvement with St Pierre, it was just incredible, but to be there on Saturday evening and be part of it, it was just sensational” Medhurst told ARG.
“When he led it was, I must say, just mayhem. The part owner Robyn Johnson was standing with me and we just started barracking for him, which I never do. I never barrack and that’s why my voice is hoarse the way it is, I think I’ve barracked myself hoarse.”
Buckle Up Wes led the field for the Australian Cup but Medhurst was well aware that a race isn’t over until the dog has passed the finishing post.
“You just thought deep down he’d win, but being in racing for so long, until they get across the line you’re just never sure. When he went across the line the feeling was just of total elation.”
Immediately after the race, the celebrations started, with Medhurst recalling the jubilation felt by all involved.
“There was a lot of embarrassing jumping around and hugging after the race I can tell you. It is something that won’t ever leave you, that feeling. It’s just there forever, it’s great.”
Wes wasn’t forgotten in the celebrations either.
“He’s a very good boy and he got treated accordingly. He had a million pats and kisses. Having said that, when he got home yesterday all he wanted to do was get fed. His number one love is food and that was all he was waiting for.”
Medhurst commended the atmosphere at The Meadows on Saturday night and said it bought back some good memories of the ‘old days’.
“The atmosphere was huge. In Tassie we’ve sort of lost that. Our tracks are inside galloping tracks that are inside trotting tracks. Back in the old days we had that. At the old Launceston track you could lean over the fence and touch them. I grew up with that sort of atmosphere and back in them days the crowds were massive. But Saturday night bought back a lot of that. The crowd and Marg Long and her committee were just sensational and looked after us before and after the race.”
Medhurst indicated that the preparation and lead up for Buckle Up Wes was good in that the dog had built some confidence coming into the final, despite missing out on making the Launceston Cup final in February.
“It’s just meant to be. Everything happens for a reason and it just all fell into place. He probably had his confidence up after winning in the consolation of the Launceston Cup and he went sensational and then in two runs at The Meadows he just improved enough to be where he had to be. He travelled well and it couldn’t be more perfect.”
Medhurst noted that it’s has been a big month for him and Debbie Cannan, who handled Buckle Up Wes on Saturday night.
“It’s been a pretty big month. We won the Maiden Thousand, Launceston Cup (Varcoe) and Bell Haven’s had a heap of pups. She’s a mummy now and she has 11 little tykes running around. She’s as good a mum as she was a race dog too. She went to Kinloch Brae, an imported dog.”
Bell Haven was a star stayer for Medhurst and it was Medhurst’s regret at not watching her race more often that led him to attend The Meadows on Saturday night to watch Buckle Up Wes.
“What I probably regret is not going over to watch her (Bell Haven) race more often. A couple of weeks ago before the series started, I said if Wes makes the final, I’m going this time. I’m so glad I did.”
Buckle Up Wes has pulled up well after his big win and he will now have a short spell and then begin preparations for the Golden Easter Egg.
“He’s ready to go again. I’ll give him a little let up and prepare him ready for the Easter Egg at Wenty. He’s had pretty full on racing since December and I’ll just ease up for a week or ten days and then we’ll get him ready again.”
Winning an Australian Cup is a huge achievement and one that will see Buckle Up Wes’ name etched onto the illustrious honour roll for eternity and it’s only fitting to finish with one last quote from the trainer of the Group One champion.
“He just showed the other night to the rest of Australia what we knew he had. It’s good that that’s happened.”