ON TRACK for a career-best season in the sulky, Bendigo's Ellen Tormey continued her momentum with a treble on Friday night at Mildura.
The Junortoun-based Tormey made the most of her nine drives for the night to finish with three wins, one second and a third.
Her treble was the standout performance on another dominant night for the Bendigo region's trainers and drivers.
Charlton youngster Ryan Sanderson notched up a winning double in the cart, while Alex Ashwood, Jack Laugher and Neil McCallum all scored one win apiece.
Among the training ranks, Ashwood, Trevor Patching, Julie Douglas and Kate Hargreaves all scored wins.
Undoubtedly the highlight among Tormey's three wins was the return to the winner's stall for the first time in five starts by the 'King of Mildura' Bernie Winkle.
The Julie Douglas-trained eight-year-old chalked up his 34th career win at Mildura with a convincing victory over familiar rivals Caulonia Terror and Murranji Track.
It put Bernie Winkle within one win of equalling the record of the most wins by a horse at a single Victorian track, held by the champion trotter True Roman.
Trained by Elmore's Graeme Johannesen, True Roman scored 35 of his 73 career wins at Moonee Valley during the 1980s and early-90s.
Bernie Winkle advanced his 2021 season record to 16 wins and eight placings from 30 starts for nearly $140,000 in earnings.
His career earnings stand at $512,297.
It was the 142nd training win this season for Douglas, who will be hunting Group 1 glory on Saturday night with Torrid Saint, in the $300,000 Victoria Cup at Lord's Raceway.
Tormey (90 wins this season) put the writing on the wall for a big night ahead early by steering home Missblissfulbeach for Red Cliffs trainer Kate Attard in the third race.
She quickly added her second win in the following race, combining with Shelbourne trainer Hargreaves for a victory with the three-year-old filly Clifton Babe.
Those two wins kicked off a run of seven straight with Bendigo region involvement.
Sanderson claimed the first of his two wins aboard the 70-1 chance The Boost for Bolinda trainer Vince Vallelonga, before McCallum chimed in with a win for young Sunraysia trainer Lachlan Prothero aboard Mailman.
Next to strike was Junortoun trainer-driver Ashwood, with the ultra-impressive Fly Like An Angel producing an emphatic 12m win.
Following another breathtaking performance by Bernie Winkle, Marong hobby trainer Trevor Patching added his name to the winner's list, with Sanderson guiding Waiting For You home for her third career victory in 18 starts.
The seven-year-old mare is racing in good form, with wins in two of her past three starts, including a victory at Patching's former home track of Ouyen last month.
First to hit the board on the night was 22-year-old Laugher, who continued his standout season by steering home the Aaron Coad-trained Lovin Everyday for his 153rd win of the season.
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