A CAREER first treble for Kate Hargreaves-Alex Ashwood at Mildura has rocketed the young combination into fifth on the state's trainers premiership standings.
The Shelbourne-based stable sent just three horses north on Wednesday night - all of them returned as winners.
After fellow Bendigo trainer-driver Ellen Tormey took out the first race with Sheer Modern, Hargreaves and Ashwood teamed to win three of the next six races on the 10-event card.
The foundations for a successful night were laid with a fighting victory for the four-year-old mare Libba Racy in a NR 46 to 51 pace.
The treble was complete when the ultra-impressive Headline Act and Robs Legacy scored in back-to-back heats of the Alabar Vicbred Platinum Country Series (NR 52 to 55).
Those wins continued a good run for the stable, which was still on a high following a terrific third in last Saturday night's Group 3 South Australian Pacing Derby at Globe Derby with Beat City.
With Ashwood's three successes in the sulky taking his season tally to 35 winners and Hargreaves notching her 30th training success, the former Tasmanian reinsman said it was a good night all-round for the stable.
Beat City ran a mighty race to finish 3rd in the SA Derby tonight. His owner rings me very excited and says ‘nothing compares to this.’ I think that sums it up for me, I just love how much excitement owners get out of their horses. Imagine if he won! #GoElvis— Kate Hargreaves (@Katehargreaves7) February 8, 2020
"There's been plenty of doubles, but there hadn't been a treble before Wednesday night," he said.
"It helps when you take the right horses up there.
"Things are rolling along nicely for us at the moment - it helps when you get the better quality horses coming through your stable.
"Kate and I really appreciate the owners and the support they have given us over the last six months. That support has been very telling in the stats to be honest."
All three Mildura wins followed a similar pattern, with the horses being sent straight to the front and showing their trademark fortitude to stave off any challengers.
"Kate and I have set a rule, if we take horses to Mildura, they have to have gate speed and be able to do it at both ends of the race," Ashwood said.
"If you don't have gate speed, you have to stay at home at those little half-mile tracks."
Libba Racy, who has won twice in four starts since joining the stable, has had her last start for Hargreaves an Ashwood and will soon be put on the market.
While Headline Act and Robs Legacy will head back to Mildura later this month to contest the series final.
Ashwood said he could not be happier with the progress shown by both horses.
"Headline Act is getting better and better with each run, but saying that she is only one or two wins away from being on a mark," he said.
"Robs Legacy has definitely got a couple more wins in her. She'll have a spell sometime in the next couple of weeks.
"They just take their wins at the moment rather than having a long-term goal."
Only a relatively new stable acquisition, Headline Act has won three of four races for the team, all at Mildura.
Robs Legacy - a four-year-old mare- has won two straight, after being unplaced in her first four starts for Marong trainer Danny Curran.
Thirty wins for Hargreaves puts the emerging young trainer well on track to reach or better her goal of scoring 40 wins this season, after her former career-high of 26 in 2018-19.
Another prolific night for Bendigo trainers and drivers at the City Oval Paceway included a double for Ellen Tormey with her own horse Sheer Modern and Penny Snatcher, for Mildura trainer Scott Garraway, and a driving win for Lockwood South freelancer Neil McCallum aboard the Lachlan Prothero/Mildura-trained Crisken Country.
Sheer Modern has now won three-straight races for Tormey at Mildura, dating back to January 24.
Eight of 10 races run at Mildura were won by mares.
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