BENDIGO trainer Kym Hann's good spring form continued at Moonee Valley on Friday night following a breakthrough city win with Gloves Are Off.
Luckless at her previous two starts this campaign at Mornington and Ballarat, the four-year-old mare recorded a career-best performance to date to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Space Force, with All's Fair close up in third.
It was the daughter of Toronado and Kid Gloves' second career win from eight starts and continued a bit of a purple patch for the stable.
A solid last month for the young trainer has included three winners from 10 starters, starting with King Dick's victory at Echuca on October 22.
Hann followed up with a home-track win on Bendigo Cup day with Royal Tyke before adding another on Friday night with Gloves Are Off.
A prosperous period has been bolstered by a pair of placings with the three-year-old filly Extreme Emotion, who backed up her third on debut on Bendigo Cup day, with a second at the same venue on November 10.
Gloves Are Off was ridden by Jake Noonan, who was riding the mare for the first time, and conceded post-race that not everything had gone as planned.
"After we went a furlong I thought it was going to be my last sit on the mare to be honest," he said.
"The plan was to get some cover and hold her up and just really wait for a 100m burst because that seems to be her sort of forte - she can only reel off a good, quick 100m sprint.
"But as soon as we jumped I was just there and landed there skiing. I had to take some initiative.
"I was just lucky that she just kept towing me up and picking up into the bridle when needed."
In an encouraging sign for the future, Noonan said the mare's 'competitive, white line fever' had kicked when she was challenged in the straight.
The win boosted Gloves Are Off's record to two wins and three placings from eight starts for earnings of $61,810.
While it was not at quite as long odds as Royal Tyke's $31 win on Bendigo Cup day, Gloves Are Off started at odds of $21.
One Bendigo-trained winner at The Valley nearly became two when the Jarrod Robinson-trained stayer Wellsford motored home to finish second behind the Maher-Eustace-trained Chains Of Honour in the benchmark 70 over the 2500m.
The five-year-old gelding, ridden by Rhys McLeod, was attempting back-to-back wins after a victory over 2400m at Swan Hill late last month and looks to finally be repaying his trainer's faith in him following an eye-catching run.
Wellsford trailed Chains Of Honour by at least five lengths approaching the turn, and was unlucky not to nab the winner on the line, beaten by only .1 of a length.
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