A SUCCESSFUL hit and run mission with Stall One has added to a fruitful regional racing period for Shelbourne trainer Kate Hargreaves and reinsman Alex Ashwood.
The five-year-old gelding was sent east by South Australian trainer Aaron Bain in search of his Vicbred bonus and was able to accomplish the mission on his first attempt at Lord's Raceway on Monday.
It capped a successful comeback for the son of American Ideal out of Zabreez, who had not raced in 14 months, but was able to pick up his maiden win.
"We haven't had him long, I have to give plenty of credit to Aaron Bain, he sent him over in very good order and he was ready to win, so that made my job easy," Hargreaves said.
"He needed a bit of time, but he also went a bit sore in one of his front legs - he's quite a big horse - so it was the right decision (giving him a break).
"It did him the world of good."
Stall One will immediately return to his former trainer where he will chase another bonus in his home state.
His all the way win delivered Ashwood a race-to-race double following his victory aboard the Noela Krafft-trained Our Pontiac and gave Hargreaves her eighth training win since the early-April move to regional racing.
That places her second only to Glenn Douglas (18 winners) on the trainers' standings.
It's a figure that could undoubtedly be higher with the stable racking up a further 12 seconds and four thirds.
Both Well Defined and Lorimer Lady added to the number of seconds on Monday.
Hargreaves was particularly thrilled with the performance of Well Defined, who finished behind only emerging young trotting star Nephew Of Sonoko in the night's fast class race.
"I was rapt with him, the winner is a very nice horse and just seems to be getting better and better," she said.
"With Well Defined, he's in the zone at the moment, this is the best I have ever had him, so hopefully he can keep it up.
"Ellen (Tormey) does a great job driving him as she is a hard little horse to drive, so full credit to her, she does a terrific job getting him away as well as she does. To lead from the outside of the second row was pretty impressive.
"He's really stepped up with the more seasoned free-for-all trotters and he's not out of place.
"I think when we go back to normal racing he will be good enough to race in metro company and make some country cups, which I am very excited about."
With the current six-region structure to be reduced to three from May 25, Hargreaves applauded Harness Racing Victoria's efforts to keep the sport functioning.
She nominated increased driving opportunities as her own personal highlight from the restricted racing period.
"I have really enjoyed being able to get back into the sulky and drive consistently, so I am improving each time I go out there," she said.
"It's been lots of fun.
"I'm hoping, once regional racing finishes, to drive at least once a week as I am really enjoying being out there."
Hargreaves will have five of her stable in action on Thursday at Bendigo, including the last start winner Naamark, Call Me Diva in the two-year-old pace, Arden Up, Tom Kat and Shawami Lass.
All Whitey Then on the hunt for three straight
HE'S done it once before and All Whitey Then's trainer Tim Mannix is hoping the grey gelding will be able to do it again.
The in-form four-year-old will be targeting three-straight wins when he next steps out onto the track at Lord's Raceway, following a convincing performance in an incident-marred race at Bendigo on Monday night.
All Whitey Then, driven confidently by Tayla French, was able to avoid the trouble further back in the field to dash to the front at the 400m mark before powering away to a 14.3m over Lorimer Lady, with Leigha Miller back in third.
Rod Lakey (Tiza Nightmare) and Ellen Tormey (Fremarksgonzo) were both thrown from their sulky in the back straight and required medical attention.
All Whitey Then ($2.40 favourite) continues to race in good form, backing up his win over the shorter 1650m distance on May 7.
The son of Blissful Hall previously strung together three wins in July last year, at Echuca, Maryborough and Melton.
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