Bendigo Jockey Club race meetings in spring more often than not produce city-class winners.
Saturday’s meeting looks set to continue the trend after some impressive performances by lightly-raced gallopers.
The 2YO maiden over 900m as always been a strong pointer to early season juvenile events and the John McArdle-trained Strela couldn’t have been more impressive in winning on debut.
Ridden by Jamie Mott, Strela jumped straight to the front and was never headed.
The son of Smart Missile ran a sizzling 50.88 seconds for the 900m – two seconds quicker than the same race 12 months earlier won by the Darren Weir-trained Dalradian.
Dalradian stepped out one week later and won a stakes race at Moonee Valley.
Strela and second-placed Tarima, trained by David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, thrashed the rest of their rivals and both look set to head straight to metropolitan class racing.
Tarima, a filly by I Am Invincible out of Myalla Gold, was well-backed into $3 favourite and made good ground in the final 200m to run second.
The Danny O’Brien stable could take promising three-year-old Flash Boy straight to the Flemington carnival after it broke its maiden status at its second start on Saturday.
The son of Beneteau won the 1400m maiden after a gem of a ride from Daniel Moor.
Flash Boy was purchased for $230,000 at last year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and his mother, Free Friday, is related to champion galloper Weekend Hussler.
The Richard Laming-trained So Poysed was the other impressive maiden winner on Saturday.
The son of Sepoy was the second leg of a winning double for jockey Jamie Mott.
So Poysed was just that as he travelled three-wide without cover just off the speed. Despite the tough run he showed great strength to surge home in the final 300m.
Local trainers didn’t taste the ultimate success on Saturday, but they had some encouraging performances.
Shane Flieder had Racing Writer and Bee Jay Zed run second and third in their respective races, while Brian Gentle produced Luskin Belle to run third in the 0-58 1600m handicap.
Young trainer Josh Julius looks set to have a good campaign with G’Day Blue after it ran third in its first run for five weeks.