Cully’s quiet confidence in Excelleration

17 May 2024 Written by VRC

Burrumbeet trainer Richard Cully will be trying to win his way into Australia’s most iconic race, the Lexus Melbourne Cup this weekend with seven-year-old gelding Excelleration. The Adelaide Cup winner will line up in this weekend's Lexus Andrew Ramsden with the winner offered ballot exemption into the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“To even have a horse mentioned getting into the Melbourne Cup you can’t even dream about don’t think it can happen to you.” Cully said. 

“Until the Andrew Ramsden was mentioned, you just think it would be great to watch a Melbourne Cup but if we had a runner in it, there would be a lot of extra people who would be at Flemington that wouldn't usually be there.” 

Known for his robust build and impressive speed, Excelleration has been a remarkable find for his trainer and owners.

Despite his initial appearance as a “big skinny, leggy fella”, he exhibited a powerful stride and remarkable clarity of wind from the outset, hinting at his immense potential. From his earliest days in training, he has consistently demonstrated exceptional ability and has overcome setbacks to return to the winners circle including consecutive wins in the Great Western, Launceston and Adelaide Cups. 

A former jumps jockey, Cully retired from race riding in 2019 to focus on his training career and is remembered best in the saddle for his association with champion racehorse Wells, one of only two horses to win three Grand National Steeplechases. 

He has spent time working for some of the country’s leading stables including Gai Waterhouse, Ciaron Maher and Patrick Payne and attributes his country training base the reason for the relaxed nature of his horses. It’s here he prefers to stay on race days, “spraying weeds or cutting grass” instead of attending the track, but he appreciated the magnitude of winning the Adelaide Cup and remains fully committed to Excelleration’s success, understanding the opportunities that lie ahead. 

Will Excelleration take the next step towards fulfilling a dream for his connections this weekend?