CHARLTON trainer Greg Norman continued his stable's purple patch with a two-state double on Saturday night, highlighted by Group 2 success in South Australia.
A prosperous night for Norman got off to a flying start with a win to the in-form seven-year-old pacer Zadaka at Tabocorp Park Melton before the exciting Belladonna Girl took out the $50,000 Southern Cross Series Final for three-year-old pacing fillies later in the night at Globe Derby.
Zadaka, driven by champion driver Kerryn Manning, made it two wins from his last three starts following a barnstorming finish in the $20,000 four-year-old and older pace.
The gelding had previously won at harness racing headquarters on November 4 before finishing fourth at his next start on November 28.
The two-state double was complete when the classy Belladonna Girl, driven by Danielle Hill, proved far too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Southern Cross Series Final and made it back-to-back wins following her impressive heat win the previous Saturday.
Dual wins continued the stable's momentum, with Norman notching up five winners in 12 days, starting with Blue Coman at Bendigo's Lord's Raceway on November 24
"We were aiming for two winners, but you don't expect it," he said.
"Zadaka is going along nicely, but this new ratings system doesn't help him,. He virtually won his MR race on Saturday night and now he's a 93 (rater) and virtually a free-for-all horse.
"Under the old system he's gone from a M0 horse to a M4 or M5 horse in one win.
"I'm not sure what I will do him now, but we will take the win. Any win's a good one."
A feature win back in Norman's former home state of South Australia with Belladonna Girl continued a solid latest preparation for the daughter of Hes watching and Mixed With A Twist.
The exciting three-year-old finished a creditable fourth in last month's $200,000 Group 1 Breeders Crown Final for fillies.
Her $24,775 first-place prize boosted Belladonna Girl's earnings from her last three starts to $41,079 for her owners, the Cormacks.
There was a touch of déjà vu for Norman, with Belladonna Girl again beating home Eastbro Adele after the pair had finished in the same order in the previous weekend's heat, in which the Rebecca East-trained pacer had started a slight favourite.
"She had a little bit on that filly (Eastbro Adele), but even if you think you'll win, you haven't done it until you've done it," he said.
"Things can go wrong in races, but once she got to the front Danielle (Hill) set the tempo of the race and she rated her nicely.
"She will back up in the heats of the Vicbred (Series) on Friday at Ballarat.
"We've set her a big task with the Breeders Crown, the Southern Cross and the Vicbred, but because of COVID they're all lumped together.
"But while she is going well, you still have to keep going around. We're hoping to momentum continues."
Belladonna Girl improved her career record to five wins and four placings from 19 starts for earnings of $54,439.
Four of those wins have come from nine starts this season.
Norman, who made the move across the border to Charlton in mid-2019, will have two runners at Thursday night's meeting at Lord's Raceway - Blue Coman and Polar Lights.
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