Bendigo trainer Sean Mott didn’t know Colin Browell very well, but winning the race named in the late jockey’s honour yesterday is one he will cherish.
Mott’s consistent mare Motto’s Gem produced a strong finishing burst to run down favourite Chit Chat in the $30,000 Colin Browell Memorial Handicap (1600m) at the Bendigo Jockey Club.
“I’ve been knocking around the Bendigo Jockey Club since I was 12 and I hold (veteran trainer) Allen Browell (Colin’s father) in the highest regard,’’ Mott said yesterday.
“For what he’s done in racing in so many years is fantastic.
“I didn’t get the chance to know Colin that well, but I respect his family and to win this race is great.”
Motto’s Gem had been in good form without winning this campaign before yesterday’s success.
She ran a gutsy second at Flemington three starts ago before two unlucky runs at Sandown and Caulfield.
“Two starts ago at Sandown she ran fifth behind Dany The Fox and she was held up for a run,’’ Mott said.
“Last start at Caulfield (jockey) Craig Williams came back and said forget she went around. She just never got a crack at them.”
Motto’s Gem missed the start by a couple of lengths yesterday, but Jockey Jack Hill didn’t panic.
He made ground along the inside before forcing his way off the fence at the top of the straight.
Once in clear running Motto’s Gem powered home to reel in Chit Chat, with Soaked a further two lengths away in third.
“We’ll keep her going until she shows us signs she needs a spell,’’ Mott said.
“She’ll either go to Moonee Valley on Friday week or Flemington the day after.”
It was a good day for Bendigo trainers yesterday, with the Bennie Benbow-trained Cherish Harmony scoring an impressive win in the $30,000 Fillies and Mares Showcase (1100m).
Aided by a superb ride from Bennie’s son, Jason Benbow, Cherish Harmony put away its rivals at the 300m mark and won by one-and-a-half lengths from the Darren Weir-trained Siwa Lady. It was Cherish Harmony’s second win from 11 career starts.
Meanwhile, Allen Browell looks to have another classy galloper in his care after Hai Lil broke through for her first city win at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Ridden by Michael Rodd, Hai Lil sprinted home powerfully to run down the John Sadler-trained Scarletini over 1600m.
Hai Lil and Scarletini defeated the rest of the field by more than four lengths.
Hai Lil, a three-year-old filly by Churchill Downs, has now won three of her seven career starts and earned more than $70,000 in stakemoney.