BENDIGO hobby trainer Debbie Wills had a day to remember at Bendigo on Saturday, training a double with two of the three horses she currently has in work in her stable.
Wills, who splits time between training and work in the aged-care sector, landed the first leg of a winning double with rescue horse Ahsha in a benchmark 58 handicap.
She completed the race-to-race double with the win of the former David Hayes-trained galloper Special Feeling.
The double was almost enough to double the career tally of wins for Wills, who had just three previous victories to her name.
Despite her modest win rate before Saturday, Wills said she was confident of adding at least one success to her haul.
“Special Feeling without a doubt …. I thought Ahsha might run a place, but might just have been a run short,” she said.
“Ahsha raced at Wodonga (on December 26) and won and then I gave her almost four weeks off before I saw this race.
“I thought it might be a good stepping stone for her, but she got the goods.”
Wills is quietly proud with what she has achieved with Ahsha.
She purchased the now five-year-old mare at the Echuca sales last year and has proceeded to win two races and be placed in one other in six starts, while nurturing the sprinter back to health.
“She had a few issues I’ve had to fix up, but she’s coming along nicely,” she said.
Wills, whose stable is based at Bagshot, admitted the double had given her plenty of belief in herself.
Despite only obtaining her trainer’s licence in 2013, she has been around racehorses for most of her life.
She started working as a stablehand for Bendigo trainer Allen Browell as a 14-year-old and rode track-work and was a strapper for Alan Scown for 15 years before taking a break to focus on family.
Despite the double being a career highlight, Wills said there were no lavish celebrations.
“I just wanted to come home to Bagshot, I was so overwhelmed by it all,” she said.
“I went to the Goornong pub for dinner and then I came home and then had to head off Sunday for my daughter’s graduation.
“Everything for the weekend has been so full on.”
Wills said she was unsure what the immediate future held for her pair of gallopers.
“I’ll just see what they have got to say … I’ll wait until they get back down to the track,” she said.
“They haven’t been back to the track since Saturday, there’s no need to rush them.
“I’m pretty sure they’ll both win again.”
Wills said jockeys Jess Eaton (Ahsha) and James Wink (Special Feeling) had ridden her horses to perfection.
“I absolutely loved their rides, I couldn’t fault them one bit,” she said.
“And the horses both pulled up amazingly.”