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Dirtyoldtown easily wins the last UK flat race of the season, a seven furlong event on the Newmarket Rowley Mile, under former SA champion apprentice Kyle Strydom  (Picture via X))
Dylan Cunha ended a memorable first full season in th U.K by landing the last turf flat race of the season.
The last turf flat race meeting of the season is usually the November Handicap meeting at Donaster, but that meeting has had a venue change to the Newcastle All Weather track due to incessant rain.
Therefore the last turf flat race meeting of the season was on Saturday at headquarters, Newmarket, on the Rowley Mile course.
The last flat turf race of the season was a seven furlong class4 handicap.
There were 17 runners and Cunha had the 22/1 shot Dirtyoldtown, an Irish-bred by No Nay Never who was having his third run for the yard having previously had 12 runs for one win, two seconds and nine unplaced runs.
Strydom had him towards the rear in the early stages. He made smooth headway from over three furlongs out and took the lead over one furlong out. He just had to be pushed out in the final furlong and won comfortably by 2,25 lengths.
The stipendiary stewards questioned Cunha afterwards and he offered no explanation for the apparent improved performance. However, a look at the horse’s overall form shows him to be the type who pops up every now and then.
Cunha started out from scratch last year and had had one win by the end of the season.
Therefore it has been an unbelievable feat, in an environment where it is ultra tough to break through, to have had 13 wins in his first full season at a strike rate of 15%.
Those wins includeed both a win in a big heritage handicap event at the big York Ebor meeting and a second in a big handicap on Epsom Derby day, both by the stable stalwart Silver Sword, who was ridden by ex-pat SA jockey Greg Cheyne on both occasions.
Cunha, whose biggest win in SA was the Gr 1 Summer Cup with Australian-bred Strategic News while still in his twenties, has just moved into one of Newmarket’s oldest and most iconic yards, Phantom House Stables.
His fortunes are expanding rapidly and, who knows, perhaps he will soon be contesting classic races.
His dream is to win a British Classic event.