REJUVENATED pacer Phil Monty continues to provide his share of thrills for Junortoun trainer Kent Harpley.
The 10-year-old gelding scored his second win in nine starts for his new stable at Lord's Raceway on Tuesday night, giving reinsman Greg Sugars the first leg of a treble.
Phil Monty's nine starts for Harpley have produced two wins, three seconds and a fourth, in a solid return to the track for the former Lance Justice-trained pacer.
"He came to me with a fair few problems, which horses his age can have, but we have done some basic care with him and looked after his legs," Harpley said.
"We've managed those problems - he's really come back to life again.
"I like having a go at turning around these sorts of horses. I have my little niece (Taylor Youl), who helps me a fair bit.
"We are starting to use the water-walker here at Bendigo quite a bit, which is great."
Phil Monty, whose full career record reads 18 wins and 19 placings from 132 starts, has only missed a top-four placing twice for Harpley, which were in his previous two runs before this week's win.
"They didn't worry me as they were both in strong company. I went into a battle of the claimers and he had to sit in the death, and then to get back into the claiming class I had to put him into a harder race to drop back in points," the trainer said.
"He'll keep going around in the claiming races - he's got issues - the better class is too good for him.
"I will more-or-less try to bat him in his own class."
Harpley, who has made his reputation as a horse-breaker and pre-trainer, only recently ticked over 100 career winners as a trainer, more often than not operating only a small team of about four horses.
Meanwhile, Chris Svanosio made it a perfect two wins from two starts with the former Anton Golino-trained trotter Norquay.
The four-year-old mare has only recently been leased out by Yabby Dam Farms to a group of owners, including Svanosio's father Peter, Bendigo newsagent Terry Clohesy, Barry Edwards and a group from Terang, but has already proven a handy pick-up.
"(The ownership) won a Mildura (Trotters) Cup a few years ago with Hinault and they had Severe Storm, who won a couple of races, but we didn't have a horse for them to race," he said.
"Pat Driscoll over at Yabby Dam Farms was good enough to lease us this mare. Pat and Anton said she would win a few races and they'd like her back to breed from some day, but she's been a good pick-up.
"Two-out-of two is great. Her previous run for Anton was a good run in the Breeders Crown consolation, so we have got her at the right time.
"It will definitely get harder from here - she will have to keep improving to keep winning - but there's a race for her at Melton on Saturday week, which will be a step up in class. That's where she'll head next.
"It was good to have the owners there (on Tuesday night) and get a win."
Norquay improved her overall record to three wins and a placing from 10 starts.
Wins on the nine-race card also went to Junortoun trainer Dylan Marshall with Barbie Mattgregor and driver Tayla French aboard the Jess Tubbs-trained three-year-old Illawong Mustang.
It was the first of three wins for Tubbs, who enjoyed further success with the four-year-old gelding Illawong Class and three-year-old filly I Choose.
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