Punters turn out in droves for the 2018 Jungle Juice Cup

GRINNERS: Jockey Qin Yong had plenty of reasons to smile after riding Kentucky Flyer to victory in the 2018 Jungle Juice Cup. Picture: Stephen Bisset
GRINNERS: Jockey Qin Yong had plenty of reasons to smile after riding Kentucky Flyer to victory in the 2018 Jungle Juice Cup. Picture: Stephen Bisset

Despite rain threatening to put a dampener on proceedings, punters have turned out in droves to Cessnock Racecourse for the 2018 Jungle Juice Cup.

And while local legend Robert Thompson failed to nab his 12th Jungle Juice Cup, it was still a victory for the region with former Cessnock trainer Graham Payne whose horse, Kentucky Flyer was first past the post.

Ridden by jockey Qin Yong, Kentucky Flyer was too good for Sniponet, ridden by Andrew Gibbons and Marathon, ridden by Chad Lever, who came in second and third respectively.  

Running since 1981, organisers expected a bumper crowd this year, after more than 1500 walked through the gates in 2017.

“It really is a time-honored tradition in the Cessnock area,” Newcastle Jockey Club racing manager Michael Buckley said. 

“It really is a great day out and a chance to see some fantastic racing. In the past we’ve had some great moments like local legend Robert Thompson who has won an impressive eleven Jungle Juice Cups.

“It really is a day where everyone can come together.”