IT WAS a low-key affair for Glenn Douglas, but the Strathfieldsaye trainer's win aboard You Ninety Two at Lord's Raceway on Sunday night produced a significant career milestone.
A narrow win in the night's second race delivered Douglas his 2000th career training winner.
The multiple-state premiership-winning trainer ensured he was not left on 2000 winners for long by steering home Van Niekerk three races later to finish the night on 2001 career victories.
A Sunday night double continued a productive season for Douglas, who boosted his tally to 54 wins and 127 placings, without the need for as much travel as normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of regional racing.
It was a modest Douglas, who was able to reflect upon the milestone, once it had arrived.
"It's a nice personal effort that probably in the bigger scheme doesn't mean much, but when someone told me I was near 2000 winners, it was a little bit of an achievement," he said.
Win number 2000 was achieved with a horse having its first start for the stable, You Ninety Two.
"Peter Salathiel had it and always had a good opinion of it, but it was doing things wrong," he said.
"He gave it to me, not under the guise of getting it going any better, but maybe just improving its manners and as soon as his manners improved he was good enough to win.
"He is a good enough horse and has the ability, but does have a few issues that need sorting it.
"When you are a trainer on your own it can be difficult."
You Ninety Two - a five-year-old gelding by Auckland Reactor with seven career wins from 68 starts - will remain with the Douglas stable for the time being.
"Peter is quite happy for him to stay here and race. I suppose performance will determine how long he stays," he said.
Douglas was equal parts rapt and relieved to record a second career win with the highly-rated former New Zealand pacer Van Niekerk.
The three-year-old gelding had won just once in 20 career starts before Sunday, despite rarely putting in a poor performance.
"He came over from New Zealand without having a start and I probably expected a little bit more from him too early," Douglas said.
"He's an immature horse and is taking his time, but it was the right race for him the other night, it was something we expected him to go well in.
"It was just nice to see him put it all together and do what he had to do."
Douglas, who was formerly based at Euston, near Robinvale, moved to Bendigo in 2000, from where he has trained the bulk of his winners.
"We've been here 20 years now, so I suppose we can call ourselves local now after that long," he said.
"When someone alluded me to the fact I was close to 2000 winners, I did think it was somewhere I never really thought I'd get to or had looked at it.
"If I wasn't allowed to do this tomorrow, I could certainly hang my hat on that (2000 winners) and be happy with it."
The Douglas stable has three runners at tonight's meeting at Bendigo, with the trainer nominating Schouten Island as the pick of the chances in NR 61 to 72 pace (race 5).
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