BENDIGO trainer Kym Hann is looking forward to Elmore Lad stepping up in grade following the four-year-old’s impressive win at Ararat on Friday.
The gelding overcame a wide draw and the humid conditions to score an impressive win in a benchmark 58 handicap (1300m).
Hann is convinced Elmore Lad, who has won three of 11 starts, is well beyond a benchmark 58 horse.
“He does have ability, but has put in a couple of disappointing runs in this time in,” he told broadcaster Racing.com
“We put the winkers on to try and switch him on a little bit more, once he got outside the leader he had the perfect run.
“He always puts himself in a good position. At the top of the straight he put them away pretty quick.
“He’s an honest horse and we’ll give him a crack at something a lot better (than a benchmark 58).”
Apprentice Trent Germaine, who has ridden Elmore Lad in each of his last two, believed the horse had served notice a win was not far away with an impressive second at Seymour on December 30.
“He was able to relax, find a good rhythm and was really strong to the line,” he said.
Equally impressive at Ararat was the Kyneton-trained five-year-old Mary’s Pride in winning a benchmark 58 for fillies and mares.
Pre-race, her trainer George Osborne described Mary’s Pride task in overcoming the outside barrier and a tight Ararat track as ‘mission impossible”, but the mare was able to hit the front with 100 metres to run and kick well clear of her seven rivals.
“The fact she got get up inside a couple of them on the turn … we could not have gone around them all and won,” he said.
“To be within four lengths at the top of the straight … to my surprise she did it pretty easy.
“I thought there might have been a few more challenges, but she was up to the task.”
Mary’s Pride was ridden exceptionally by in-form jockey Linda Meech, who was fresh from a winning double in Sydney the previous Saturday.
Osborne, who followed up with a win at Saturday’s Camperdown Cup meeting with Sonaisali, now has 18 winners for the season.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.