IT'S a long trek from Marong to Mildura and a huge undertaking travelling horses between the two places, but for trainer Danny Curran it has more than paid dividends.
The veteran trainer emerged with a pair of winners at the three-night Mildura Pacing Cup Carnival at the City Oval Paceway, highlighted by an impressive win on Saturday's cup night with Mia From Memphis.
With James Herbertson in the sulky, the five-year-old produced a dominant front-running performance to win the $7000 Park Douglas Printing Pace (1790m).
The mare ran his six rivals ragged to clear out to a near-12 metre win over the home-track pacer Rocknroll Eyes, giving the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover the biggest of his eight career wins from 30 starts.
An ecstatic Curran was just as happy with the effort of Mia From Memphis' stable-mate Sunrose Master, who narrowly missed adding to his heat win on Tuesday night, when the five-year-old finished a narrow second in the final of the $25,000 Tenderprint Australia Cup (2190m).
"To be honest I'm more happy with the other bloke (Sunrose Master)," said Curran when quizzed on the effort of Mia From Memphis.
"He won the heat the other night and he sat in the death tonight and just got beat. It was a brave effort. I'm really proud of the both of them.
"It's a big trip to Mildura and a big job when you are racing them on the Tuesday and Thursday (before cup night).
"I sent the horses home with my son, he worked them and they came back up today.
"The barriers draw helped, they both got good barriers."
After a gruelling few days for the horses, Curran indicated both had earned a 'few days' break.
"We will let them recover from this, they're big trips," he said.
"It's eight hours in the float each time (up and back), so 16 hours in the float all up. It knocks it out of them."
"So we will give them a few days off and assess things from there. I haven't looked that far ahead."
James Herbertson, who was in the sulky for Sunrose Master's win on Tuesday and drove both Curran horses on Saturday night, said Mia From Memphis had done well to get up after a tough run on Tuesday.
"She did well tonight, I thought I might have cooked her with the run she had last Tuesday," he said.
Meanwhile, 2019 Bendigo Pacing Cup winner San Carlo continued his amazing season by winning the feature Cup race, giving the eight-year-old and his trainer Stephen O'Donoghue and driver Rebecca Bartley their fourth country cup win this season.
O'Donoghue was quick to reflect on a remarkable journey wit San Carlo, who has now 27 of 47 starts, including six of his last 14.
"I never thought I'd get a horse like this," he told Trots Vision.
"You hope to get a good horse, but this bloke is just that level above them, he's a dream, he really is.
"The people who have been following him and support him and barrack for him, I never imagined that - it's new to me.
"He never showed us anything until he was a five-year-old.
"We trialled him as a three-year-old and trialled and trialled, but not once did we think he was above average or even average.
"We brought him back as a five-year-old and he's never put a foot wrong after that."
The Kate Hargreaves-trained Bendigo gelding Resurgent Spirit finished the race in sixth.
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