BENDIGO region trainers were again to the fore at Thursday night's meeting at Lord's Raceway, with four of the 10 races won by horses trained within the region.
Marong trainer Tim Mannix got the ball rolling with a victory to Shady Hanover in the opening race on the program, before Sebastian trainer Kylie Linsell and reinsman Glenn Douglas combined for a win in race three with Heston Cash.
A run of placings for Julie and Glenn Douglas with Ozzie Joy and Magic Mike, John and Ellen Tormey (Shaq) and Leigh Graham and Tayla French (Azza) from races four to eight was broken by a win for the combination of Heathcote trainer Terry French and Bendigo driver Alex Ashwood with Blissfull Donna in race nine.
Charlton's Mark Boyle rounded out a successful night for the locals by notching a win in the last race with Yapper.
The Boyle-trained three-year-old colt broke through for his maiden win at start number five and was driven by Charlton youngster Ryan Sanderson.
Shady Hanover's win to open the night was the five-year-old mare's second in five starts for Mannix following her switch from John Matthews' stable at Havelock.
Mannix admitted he was still feeling his way with the horse, but hoped he was closer to unlocking her potential to becoming a more consistent pacer.
"She has put in a couple of shockers since we got her, but you can probably put that down to trainer error more than anything else, as I get to know her," he said.
"First-up we were just there for a look and we drove her quietly and she went well but ran last, though not a bad last.
"She won her next start, which was great, but then we drove her a bit back to front at Charlton and she pulled and fired up and did a few things wrong.
"That was my error more than anything, we learned we couldn't drive her like that. And then at Echuca, she just didn't get around the bend and lost all confidence and couldn't let down in the straight.
"We had a couple of quiet weeks with her at home and probably went to Echuca too fresh, so we've leared from that too.
"We changed a bit of gear (Thursday) night and upped her work at home and she popped up for another win, so the key seems to be driving quiet with her and just letting her come with the one run.
"We still have a couple of little changes to make, but we will make them gradually."
Mannix felt Shady Hanover, who has now won four of 44 career starts and finished in the minor placings three times, had shown enough potential to slowly progress out of her grade.
"She works really well at home, but she's probably a bit of a one-trick horse," he said.
"We need to drive her for a bit of luck more often than not, so she will have to wait her turn to get the luck or the right run into it, as she is not that strong.
"But she does have plenty of speed, so hopefully, moving forward, she can win a few more."
Meanwhile, two of the Bendigo region's standout trotters will lock horns at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, when the returning Sundons Courage and Nephew Of Sonoko contest the Group 3 I Didnt Do It Free For All (2240m).
The Brad Angove-trained Sundons Courage will be first-up since February's Group 1 Grand Prix and will be driven by Bendigo's Jayden Brewin, who is hopping aboard the eight-year-old for the first time in a race.
While Nephew Of Sonoko has been a model of consistency for Sutton Grange trainer Leigh Graham in recent months and broke through for a well-deserved Group 2 win two starts back before a handy effort behind Cover Of Darkness last weekend at Melton.
Brian Gath will again take the drive behind the five-year-old gelding.
A strong field of rivals includes the rejuvenated Sparkling Success, Monaro Mara, and a pair of runners from the stable of former Bendigo trainer-driver Chris Svanosio, Brandlo Prince and Peregrine Phoenix.
Graham will be further represented in the Aldebaran Sweetheart Trot Final for mares with Reigning Lillies, who is joined among the chances by the Kate Hargreaves-trained La Serena.
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