AN AMAZING run for Sutton Grange trainer Graeme Dalton has rolled on at Ballarat.
The veteran trainer made it back-to-back wins with his seven-year-old gelding Animated at Bray Raceway on Friday night.
Dalton was one of two Bendigo trainers to emerge with wins, after Chris Svanosio scored earlier in the night with his eight-year-old trotter Beta Hanoverdakash.
Animated's victory in a NR 77 to 94 pace delivered Dalton his fourth win within a month, following the gelding's success at Melton last week and those of With Gusto and Miss Kaikora last month.
He admitted some surprise at notching up a second-straight win in a race not run to suit the gelding, who has now won 18 races from 78 starts and been placed 21 times.
"I was very impressed with Animated, I didn't really think he would win that race, especially the way they settled down," Dalton said.
"He's a nice horse, definitely the best of (my) bunch at the moment. He's definitely got a bit more basic ability than the others.
"I hope he can keep going."
Dalton conceded placing Animated had become tougher with each good performance, with one possible long-term aim being a return to the Bendigo Pacing Cup in January, after the gelding finished back in the field in last year's race won by San Carlo.
"It depends on the conditions they put on the races. I think from memory the last Bendigo Cup was handicapped on the prize money they'd won in their previous four starts," he said.
"He'd won a couple out of his previous four (at Melton and Ballarat) and it placed him at a bit of a disadvantage in a small field.
"If it was a random barrier draw you can get your good barriers and your bad barriers - I'd prefer to see those cup races as all random barrier draws.
"To be honest I haven't looked too far past (Friday) night, but his rating is getting pretty high now. It's going to be a bit difficult placing him."
"He's not the greatest horse in the world, but he's a nice horse and we will just have to find some suitable races somewhere."
"She's had over 100 starts and been around a fair bit, but she's probably going as well as she ever has," Svanosio said.
"She'd ran four placings in a row, so she definitely deserved a win.
"There were a couple of good horses in the field, but she got away good and was too good for him. She won it at the start, getting away so quick. Her good manners really helped.
"I'm happy she's racing consistently. She's owned up in Sydney, but came down to me and that was her third win for me, but she has just been in the money every time she has gone around."
The win boosted the mare's career earnings to nearly $120,000 from 122 strats, for 12 wins and 45 placings.
Amazingly, Beta Hanoverdakash has finished runner-up an astonishing 30 times.
With the mare working her way down to a harder mark, Svanosio was keen to 'have a throw at the stumps' at a race at Melton.
"Hopefully she can measure up to something down there and be competitive, otherwise we'll just keep doing our best with er around the country," he said.
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