A BREAKTHROUGH Melton with Your Nicked on Monday carried plenty of extra significance for harness racing trainer Greg Leight and reinsman Steve Leight.
The Kyneton father and son were quick to dedicate their handy trotter's win to much-loved local identity Eric Scoble, who died suddenly last Saturday.
Scoble, a long-time committeeman and president of the Kyneton Daffodil Arts Festival and a Medal of the Order of Australia recipient in 2019, was one of the Leights' owners
"Eric was a really well-known identity here in Kyneton, he was in everything. He is a local legend," trainer Greg Leight said.
"And he was a really keen harness racing man, who had horses with me. He owns Law Legend and Daddywho and has owned a fair few other successful horses.
"He often came to the trots with us but very unfortunately passed away suddenly last Saturday. We still have his horses here in the backyard.
"Everyone knows him .... he ran the famous ferret races at the daffodil festival, and he is one of those people, who has helped a lot of people.
"He's had horses with us for 10 or more years and we've had a fair few winners over that time. He bred a few horses too and absolutely loves harness racing.
"He was larger than life and we're glad to dedicate the race win to him."
Despite Your Nicked possessing plenty of ability - as evidenced by his six previous wins and 13 placings in 55 starts - Leight described the win as 'a bit unexpected'.
"He was first up after a fairly long spell, but he had trialled well going into the race," he said.
"Going down there (to Tabcorp Park Melton), it's pretty tough competition anytime, but to win first-up was a great effort on the horse's part.
"He's done quite well for us, he's won seven races. He's probably run a fair few seconds down at Tabcorp in some really good fields, so he's been fairly consistent all along.
"He's not a bad horse - we've had worse than him, believe me."
The seven-year-old gelding, who started the race a near 40-1 chance, will likely be aimed at the few remaining country cups left this season, with his trainer hopeful of getting a win in at least one.
"There's only a handful (of country cups) to go, but he will probably draw the front, so he's worth a crack at one of them," Leight said.
"He's very capable of being competitive in races like those.
"We might run in two or three of them and hope he can knock one of them off.
"I wouldn't write him off, he's a pretty competitive little horse."
The seven-year-old gelding will be following the path of another in the Leights' small team of trotters, with Law Legend having contested a pair of cups at Hamilton and Wedderburn last month.
The now nine-year-old gelding last season won the Warragul Trotters Cup and will line up in this Friday night's $14,000 Ararat Trotters Cup (2570m).
Leight, who has five horses currently in work, confirmed another of his cups contenders Arrested was on break from racing after sustaining an injury following his fourth in the Hamilton Trotters Cup on January 12.
"He's off the radar at the moment, unfortunately, as he was a really good type of horse for the country cups," he said.
"We won't see him for a fair while."
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