GOBSMACKED continued a red-hot run of form, picking up his fourth win in six starts under the regional racing model at Lord's Raceway on Monday night.
The Shaun McNaulty-trained four-year-old made the most a smooth run in transit to surge to the lead in the home straight and hold out the similarly in-form Betternbetter, for Elmore trainer Keith Cotchin, and add another well deserved victory.
Both horses were vying to become the first Central region horse to reach four wins under the revised format, with Betternbetter chasing four straight.
The victory continued a prosperous partnership between the horse and comeback driver Rod Lakey, who now has three wins aboard Gobsmacked since the April 3 move to regional racing.
Champion reinsman Brian Gath was in the sulky for the gelding's May 5 victory.
McNaulty continues to be more than impressed with the form of the son of Auckland Reactor and Respected, who lifted his overall record to nine wins and 12 placings from 40 starts.
"He's just in a good place at the moment, he's happy, he's fit and the confidence is high," he said.
"Rod drove him a treat, he got him to the right spot and he was the best horse in the race I thought, we just needed to put him into it and let him do the rest.
"It was perfect really.
"I have a lot of time for Betternbetter, but (Gobsmacked) is just in the zone at the moment.
"Even when he finished fifth last start (behind Streeitkid) it was probably one of his best runs. He flew home and didn't get beat by far.
"He keeps surprising me, but I reckon there might be a little bit up his sleeve just yet."
A third win aboard Gobsmacked stretched Lakey's tally of winners to 13 since his return to race driving early last month.
The first of those winners was also achieved on the McNaulty-trained pacer.
The young Marong trainer branded his association with Lakey as personally the best thing to emerge from the regional racing period.
"He's driving more and more and getting his ring-craft back pretty quickly - it's been a great thing for my horses," he said.
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