Seymour co-trainer Lee Hope had mixed feelings when Balcazar ($8.50) was declared a dead-heater at Flemington last Saturday.
“I wasn’t sure. It was very close but it’s better than running second,” he said.
The four-year-old Sebring gelding had to share the $100,000 purse of the L.V. Lachal Handicap (1800m) with the Chris Waller-trained Jaminzah ($7.50). Spanner Head ($8.50) was third.
Balcazar, co-trained by Shannon Hope, was ridden by Beau Mertens.
“He’s done a good job,” Lee Hope said. “He was probably out of his grade, but he measured up today nicely. We were quite happy coming in.”
Balcazar is raced by a number of stable clients headed by long-timer Greg Turner.
The gelding has now won four races with three minor placings from 15 starts, earning $123,900.
The Hopes said they’d “see how he pulls up” before deciding whether to press on with his campaign.
Kilmore resident Kath Merton and her son Broadford-based Brent Merton have had some fun with Temps Voleur.
The six-year-old Time Thief gelding, having his second start for new trainer Chris Bieg, was an all-the-way winner of the $45,000 Darley Handicap (1950m) on his home track at Morphettville last Saturday.
The gelding was previously trained at Cranbourne by Robbie Lang but was always stabled with Bieg on his frequent trips to Morphettville.
The win was Temps Voleur’s ninth from 55 starts. He’s earned $319,750.
Longtime racing media man Neale Donnelly is also in the ownership.
Kyneton trainer Mark Ashby made it back-to-back wins with A Moving Place ($8.50) at Swan Hill last Saturday.
Racing for the first time since a Kerang win in March, the Canford Cliffs four-year-old mare handled the heavy 10 conditions impressively in taking out the $20,000 BusBiz.net.au F&M BM64 Handicap (1300m).
The mare’s win gave apprentice Lewis German a riding double.
The mare, who’s raced by her trainer, has three wins and five minor placings from 16 starts for $50,365.
Another Kyneton trainer in Charles Cassar saddled up Gunn Island ($12) for a nice win at Edenhope last Sunday.
The four-year-old Written Tycoon gelding was a three-length winner of the West Wimmera Shire Council BM58 Handicap (1200m).
The win completed a double for ex-WA hoop Daniel Staeck, who steered the gelding down the outside of the track.
Gunn Island has now won three races with five minor placings from 18 starts.
Dry helps Hussler
The synthetic track at Racing.com Park Pakenham was the key to Tuesday’s victory by the Barry Goodwin-trained Moonlight Hussler ($7).
The six-year-old Hussonet gelding was most impressive in winning the Swear @ Spendthrift BM58 Handicap (1600m).
Ridden by Brad Rawiller, the gelding defeated Dancing Hare ($10) by two lengths with Robbo the Bold ($5) a neck away third.
Seymour-based Goodwin said the gelding didn’t handle the soft 7 conditions at Werribee at his previous start.
“We certainly thought he’d run an improved race getting back to a firm surface. The surface at Werribee didn’t suit him at all as he’s a big, heavy horse.”
A $42,500 purchase at the 2012 Magic Millions Adelaide yearling sale, Moonlight Hussler won a listed race on debut for David Hayes and was later trained by Danny Penna.