KYNETON trainer George Osborne says the immediate future for Monday's breakthrough winner Hallowed Ground lies on synthetic tracks.
The three-year-old gelding captured his first win in emphatic style on the Ballarat synthetic at race start number five.
It came on a good day for Osborne, who made it a double with a win by the front-running four-year-old Kerioth, later in the day.
Hallowed Ground relished the artificial surface in scoring by 4.25-lengths from the Henry Dwyer-trained Sugarpiehoneybunch, with Where's The Hunter (Cliff Brown) in third.
The son of dual Group 1-winning sire Hallowed Crown showed good early pace with John Allen in the saddle and quickly found the front.
When the race needed to be won he showed a nice turn of foot to quickly put his rivals to the sword.
Osborne said the synthetic surface and the ability to find the lead were obvious keys to the victory after the gelding had placed only once in his first four starts.
"Wet tracks, he doesn't handle them. He's a Hallowed Crown and he's the only Hallowed Crown in Australia who doesn't handle wet tracks," he said.
"He's a big heavy boy I guess. Everyone keeps telling me that he strides out, every jockey tells me that, and I keep putting him on tracks and he can find rain wherever he goes.
"We decided to hold back and have one look at the synthetic - he's trialled on it a few times quite well.
"I think that was the key to it.
"His best two runs have been when he's been out on his own, he's not real good amongst them - he's still a bit afraid of them and runs away from them.
"Once we had a clear lead it was going to be pretty hard to run us down."
Osborne said 'unless the heavens cleared' and the tracks dried, Hallowed Ground would be back on the synthetic at his next start.
It was the second consecutive Monday Osborne ended the program with a maiden winner after the seemingly luckless four-year-old Magnalicious did the honours on his home track at Kyneton last week.
A four-week freshen up following a disappointing first-up run at Kerang paid dividends for Kerioth, who like Hallowed Ground, also found the lead early and went on with the job to score a handy 3.75-length victory.
"An apology to my staff, I've had this horse mad fresh for the last week and he's been bouncing out and has been very difficult to handle, but he has to be that way," he said.
"Credit to Sheridan (jockey Sheridan Clarke), who I have never used before, because when we can get him (Kerioth) forward he's very, very good, but it doesn't happen all the time.
Sometimes ... he doesn't step away slow ... he's a bit lackadaisical. Today he drove out and got to the lead. Once he gets to the lead he's a different horse.
"His best form is very fresh, so now we know what we need, we'll back off again."
The win was the grey gelding's third from 12 starts and his first from only one attempt on the synthetic.
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