Bendigo trainer Steve Lake scored a well-deserved breakthrough win with consistent stayer Saint Ay at Ballarat on Tuesday.
Saint Ay was originally raced and owned out of country New South Wales, but was purchased by Lake and connections in December last year.
The six-year-old son of Reset had won four races on country tracks in New South Wales - three of which were at 2000m and beyond.
Leading into Tuesday's run, the gelding had raced 10 times for Lake this year for three seconds and one third.
His only uncompetitive runs were on heavy tracks.
Lake tried Saint Ay on the Ballarat synthetic track for the first time on Tuesday for a benchmark 58 over 2100m and the stayer relished the firmer footing.
With in-form jockey Tahlia Hope in the saddle, Saint Ay ($6.50) stalked the speed before running down the Matt Cumani-trained Let Fly ($6) in the concluding stages.
They finished five lengths clear of third-placed Mr Mischief, who was an even money favourite.
Meanwhile, Bendigo galloper Satin Ruler finished second in the final race of the day.
The Josh Julius-trained galloper was narrowly beaten by Bluestone Lane in an encouraging second-up run.
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