Michelle Payne flew the gates on day two of the Warrnambool May Carnival landing a double in two of the first three races, but it was the win of the Matthew Williams trained Reigning Meteor later in the day that had the locals cheering.
Owned by a huge group of excited owners under the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock umbrella, the mounting yard erupted into a chorus of cheers as apprentice jockey Damien Thornton returned the horse to the winner’s stall.
Thornton gave the three-year-old son of Northern Meteor plenty of time to settle in the run before allowing him to gather momentum before the turn.
Reigning Meteor responded strongly in the straight under the urgings of Thornton to defeat The Four Lads by 1.5L, with Gloop a futher 2L away in third place.
It was victory number two at the Warrnambool May carnival for Reigning Meteor after taking out a 2yo event in stylish fashion last year and he’s likely to return in 12 months to have a crack at the Wangoom.
The win made it a double for trainer Matthew Williams at this year’s carnival after taking out the last race with Turnitaround on day one.
Williams will saddle up six runners on the final day including Clairvaux in the Warrnambool Cup who is a lightweight chance.
Michelle Payne defied a wide gate to score an easy victory on the Henry Dwyer trained Cent Of A Tiger in the first race of the day, the Winning Edge Presentations Maiden Plate (1400m).
Payne always had the 3yo gelding nicely placed in the run and she let him go at the top of the straight where he bounded away for an easy 4.25L win over Tales Of Treasure, with a further 1.75L to Glen Appin in third place.
Show Us Your Tatts brought up a double for Payne when she finished strongly to win the Warrnambool Locksmiths SV 3YO Maiden Plate (1700m) by 1L from Kinglami, with Iceyfiable 0.75L away in third spot.
Caulfield trainer John Salanitri and jockey Jason Benbow combined to take out the feature race of the day, the Wangoom Handicap, with Royal Island.
The 5yo Dubawi gelding was a blow out for punters at $21 and scored by 2.5L from Magnus Lad, with another length back to third placegetter Taddei Tondo.
Stand To Gain, trained by Bob Challis, proved too strong for Zuhayr in the Sovereign Resort Galleywood Hurdle (3200m), winning by 0.2L in a driving finish.
Jockey Paul Hamblin pulled out all stops on the 9yo in the final 100m and he rallied strongly to fend of second placed Zuhayr, and third horse Back In Black finished 4.75L further back.
One of the more pleasing moments of the day was when Koroit jockey Chelsea Hall guided the Terry and Karina O’Sullivan trained Majestic Duke to victory in the Duncan’s Liquor Showcase BM70 Handicap (1400 m), landing a winner in her first Warrnambool May Carnival as an apprentice jockey.
R1 Winning Edge Presentations Maiden Plate (1400m)
1. $4.00 CENT OF A TIGER Henry Dwyer Ms Michelle Payne (12) 58.5
2. $26.00 TALES OF TREASURE Darren Weir Dean Yendall (8) 56.5
3. $101.00 GLEN APPIN Paul Graesser Craig Robertson (14) 56.5
Margins: 4.25L, 1.75L
R2 Optus Shop Warrnambool Maiden Plate (1700m)
1. $16.00 WITH EVERY BOUND Jason Petch Alan Creighton (6) 58.5
2. $2.70F TRAMELL Ciaron Maher Ms Michelle Payne (3) 56.5
3. $9.00 GRAND FRENZY Jarrod McLean Mark Pegus (8) 56.5
Margins: 6L, 0.75L
R3 Warrnambool Locksmiths SV 3YO Maiden Plate (1700m)
1. $3.70 SHOW US YOUR TATTS John McArdle Ms Michelle Payne (5) 56.0
2. $3.60F KINGLAMI Aaron Purcell Brad Rawiller (6) 58.0
3. $31.00 ICEYFIABLE Matthew Williams Dean Yendall (8) 56.0
Margins: 1L, 0.75L
R4 Warrnambool Hyundai BM64 Handicap (1700m)
1. $12.00 HEAVY Ciaron Maher Steven Arnold (5) 58.5
2. $4.80F LANDSLIDE Henry Dwyer Mark Zahra (3) 58.0
3. $7.50 UNFURL Darren Weir Chris Parnham (4) 57.0
Margins: 0.75L, 0.40L
R5 Sinclair Wilson Showcase BM70 Handicap (1000m)
1. $5.00 REIGNING METEOR Matthew Williams Damien Thornton (1) 58.5
2. $4.00 THE FOUR LADS Colin Chandler Jamie Mott 1.5L 3 60.5
3. $15.00 GLOOP Patrick F Ryan Jnr Brad Rawiller 3.5L 4 58.5
Margins: 1.5L, 2.0L
R6 Sovereign Resort Galleywood Hurdle (3200m)
1. $21.00 STAND TO GAIN Bob Challis Paul Hamblin (6) 65.0
2. $12.00 ZUHAYR Tony Rosolini Darryl Horner (Jnr) (5) 65.0
3. $15.00 BACK IN BLACK John Steffert Michael Mitchell (4) 64.0
Margins: 0.2L, 4.5L
R7 Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap (1200m)
1. $21.00 ROYAL ISLAND John Salanitri Jason Benbow (2) 54.0
2. $7.50 MAGNUS LAD Wez Hunter Chris Parnham (10) 54.0
3. $13.00 TADDEI TONDO Gerard Moloney Patrick Moloney (6) 54.0
Margins: 2.5L, 0.75L
R8 Duncan’s Liquor Showcase BM70 Handicap (1400m)
1. $10.00 MAJESTIC DUKE Terry & Karina O’Sullivan Ms Chelsea Hall (14) 58.5
2. $5.50F BURNING FRONT Darren Weir Brad Rawiller (7) 60.5
3. $21.00 DELIBERATE Jane Baker Chris Parnham (6) 57.5
Margins: 0.1L, 1L
R9 Silvan Ridge Futurity Inglis Bonus 3YO BM78 Handicap (1400m)
1. $4.60 WARRIOR KING Robert Smerdon Mark Zahra (9) 55.5
2. $8.00 TURFANE Saab Hasan Damien Oliver (3) 57.5
3. $101.00 THEYCALLMETHEHOFF Shane Bottomley Ms Jackie Beriman (5) 54.0
Margins: 0.3L, 0.85L
Pictures courtesy of Peter Morganti – Morgz Racing @morgzracing