Grant Seccombe doesn’t forget a favour.
Nine years after Cranbourne trainer Chris Hyland gave him a start in racing, Seccombe repaid him with a winner.
Hyland had his first picnic runner in the final race at Balnarring last Sunday, and Seccombe got the job done for his former master.
He did it in style, too — Option Trader hit the front at the home turn and left his rivals four lengths behind.
Seccombe said he was happy to finally win one for Hyland.
“I finished school in 2009 and then went down to Cranbourne and Chris gave me a go, chucked me on my first horse, but I never got to race ride for him,” he said.
“We’ve always talked about doing it since, he just never had a runner at the picnics.
“Now I’m one-from-one for him after starting out with him so long ago.”
It was Option Trader’s first start for Hyland. He had previously raced for Dennis Edwards in Coffs Harbour.
Seccombe said the re-established partnership would be back in action at Woolamai on Saturday, with Option Trader looking to back up against some of the picnic circuit’s best stayers.
A number of those stayers had contested the previous race at Balnarring, with Healesville Cup winner Sommernachtstraum prevailing by a neck from the Courtney Pace-trained Fold.
The win gave Robert Kingston a double on the day, with Niamh Chinn Oir having taken out the first on the card; Toby Lake rode both winners for Kingston, but a double for Pace kept her two-win lead in the premiership intact.
Pace scored on Hay Handsome for dad Arthur in race three and Eco Road for Julie Crosbie in race four.
Ballarat trainer Adam Burns claimed just the second win of his career when La Tinkwha claimed the second on the card.
King reigns in high country
It was a double-header weekend of picnic racing, with the Hinnomunjie Cup up for grabs on Saturday.
The cup went home to Bairnsdale with trainer Shea Reynolds, who prepared King Joy to a tee.
Rider Joanne Geddes claimed just her third career win with the cup.
In other Hinnomunjie action, Grant Seccombe rode Bemarydan to victory for the Kilgowers and Dylan Dean won on Treaty of Paris for Rob Gillahan.
Dani Walker took the honours for rider of the day with a double for Don Dwyer on Deck of Cards and Earthling.
The picnic circuit will return to Woolamai this Saturday.