The Candy Man Certainly Can
May 26, 2019
The Candy Man put another layer on his growing cult status when he graduated to stakes company to land the Group 3 Premier’s Cup in his seventh straight win at Eagle Farm.
Trainer Barry Baldwin labelled it alongside La Montagna’s Stradbroke as one of his greatest moments in racing, given the patience required and financial commitment of his owners Lucky Pippos and Edgar Allen to nurse The Candy Man back to full health.
“He was a horse that I did think would do this one day, but for a long time I thought it was hopeless,” Baldwin said.
The trainer now has his eyes on this month’s Brisbane Cup, where The Candy Man will stretch to 2400m for the first time.
Michael Cahill gave him a soft run along the rails and stuck to the fence as he set out after loose leader Igraine in the straight. The grey, who wears the colours of famous Queensland grey Gunsynd, then had enough in reserve to hold off Haripour at the finish.
“Barry and I go back a lot of years. I first rode a double for him 20 years ago, so it’s great to think I’m still riding winners for him,” Cahill said.
“It’s great to see him with a good horse and the sky is the limit with this horse.”
Pippos said after The Candy Man’s sickening jaw injury, he spoke to Allen and told him $30,000 would be required to bring him back to health, to which Allen responded “Mate, whatever you do, I’m with you.”
“It’s a wonderful story and that’s what racing is all about,” Pippos said.
For Allen, who is battling ill health, it was a special day, given he flew from Gladstone to see The Candy Man race in the flesh for the very first time.
“We had a feeling he was on the way up,” Allen said.
“It’s most exciting. I’ve been a racing man all my life. It’s just one of those things, I’ve had many horses and you always worry about getting a good one.
“Racing is a dream, this is my dream.”