WHEN it comes to synthetic racetracks, Bendigo trainer Graham Donaldson sees things very much in black or white.
"You either like them or you hate them, " Donaldson quipped following a tough and eye-catching win by Just Wishing on the Ballarat Synthetic on Friday.
It was the seven-year-old mare's second win on the Ballarat Synthetic in the last two-and-a-half months and her third on synthetic surfaces overall.
She has won four races overall in 36 starts.
Only two of those wins have been for Donaldson, who has had the daughter of So You Think now for 11 starts.
Her previous win on the synthetic came at Pakenham in September last year, under the guidance of Bevan Laming.
The mare's recent solid form included a last start second and a third placing in late June, also on the Ballarat Synthetic.
As has become customary, Just Wishing, ridden by Jarrod Fry, was quick to cross to the lead and showed plenty of grit in winning by 1.5-lengths without ever seriously being challenged.
Donaldson, who became the first Bendigo trainer to notch up a win in the new racing season which launched last Monday, admitted to heading to Ballarat with confidence once the mare's place in the field was confirmed.
"That was great ... she held her ground today and just kept going, which was a real bonus," he said.
"We were an emergency for a start and with a few scratchings on top, I thought we were in with a real good chance.
"It was beautiful."
The win capped a treble on Friday for Fry, the state's leading country rider in 2021-22, who revealed he would be taking a week's break after this Sunday's meeting at Sandown for his honeymoon.
The 33-year-old was thrilled to get the win aboard Just Wishing after they only narrowly failed to hang on last start, when beaten by less than a length over the same 1500-metre distance.
"It was a really good run last start and obviously she only got nabbed late," he said.
"She probably travelled for a lot longer than she did the other day; she went about 700 (metres) the other day and just dropped the bridle on me.
"I had to work to get her back underneath me. Today she travelled for a bit longer which made it a bit easier.
"(Graham) is a good fellow' he's only got a couple of work, but he does a good job with them."
As for the mare's immediate future, Donaldson was equally categorical as his views on synthetic tracks.
"Hopefully the synthetic tracks are open for another few months," he said."
You either like them (synthetic tracks) or you hate them.- Graham Donaldson
Just Wishing is owned by Donaldson in partnership with his daughter Emma Pontelandolfo.
The stable has plenty to look forward to this Sunday when his highly-touted three-year-old Timbolton makes his debut at Swan Hill.
The winner of a Kyneton jump-out in May and second in a trial at Tatura last month, Timbolton's trainer thought highly enough of the gelding to send him straight to town at Moonee Valley on July 30 before he was eventually scratched.
READ MORE: Donaldson lands two-day double
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