THERE was nothing ordinary about Boxofchocolates' first win at Lord's Raceway on Tuesday night.
The Kent Harpley-trained mare was making her debut as a five-year-old, and while there had obviously been no rush to get the daughter of Union Guy and Hellenback to the racetrack, she was sure in a hurry to get to the finish.
Boxofchocalates, driven by champion reinsman Chris Alford, blew away his nine rivals to win by 35.4 metres, in the slick mile rate of 1:54.3.
Even more impressively, the mare was slow out of the gate and sat three-wide for a significant portion of the trip, before shooting clear approaching the home turn to give the Junortoun trainer his fourth win of the season.
It was an exciting moment for connections, in particular John Campbell, who owns and bred the horse with his wife Kay at their Lockwood-based Loddon Valley Stud.
He insisted Boxofchocolates had shown the makings of a good horse from her earliest days, despite testing the patience of all involved.
"She was a month earlier than the other foals and about a hand taller than the other half dozen foals," Campbell said.
"She was always a very good type, a leader of the others and would pace very well in the paddock.
"John McDermott broke her in in due course and he was pretty happy with her.
"We were tossing up whether to sell her; we were talking to Gavin Lang about her at one stage, but we ended up not doing much for a little while."
The mare eventually landed with Harpley, who according to Campbell, had a record of success with Union Guy progeny.
"With a little bit of patience and a little bit of perseverance he's done well," he said.
"Her paddock name way back when she was a yearling was Boxofchocolates, because with the breeding you joked ' you don't know what you are going to get," he added, referencing Forrest Gump.
"Kent persevered and got her going in a runaround at Bendigo about last November, but thought she needed another let-up.
"She came home for about three months and then she went back to Kent, who has worked a few things out.
"She's still a little bit green and she's learning, but we were excited to get the win.
"Kent said she could have led if she wanted to because she does have gate speed, but everything went smoothly."
Campbell, a long-time breeder and the current president of the Boort Harness Racing Club, hopes there are even better times ahead after just a few previous and successful forays into racing ownership.
"Kay and I have been down here 10 years this month and we've only raced two fillies. That's Union Ally and Flying Hannah, both with Maree Campbell," he said.
"It's a little bit of excitement for us."
Union Ally won seven of 27 starts and was placed 12 times, with her biggest win coming in the A.J. Prendergast Oaks Memorial at Ballarat in 2015.
Flying Hannah won five of 32 starts, being trained later in her career by Tim Mannix.
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