But our highlight was the double to the ‘The Don’ Dean Yendall on Zanteca & Turnitaround that put $200 into the coffers of the National Jockeys Trust courtesy of ‘The Don Challenge’ where we are donating $100 for every winner Yendall rides over the three days.
Zanteca got the ball rolling for Yendall in the George Taylor Memorial Showcase BM78 Handicap (2350m) where he always had the Darren Weir trained mare in the firing line.
Approaching the turn he allowed Zanteca to pounce on the leaders and the race was over in a few strides.
Zanteca went on to win by 5L from Zazparella, with a further 2.75L away to Savvy Henry in third place.
Yendall’s double came up two races later when he guided Turnitaround to a comfortable victory in the City of Warrnambool Handicap (1700m) for local trainer Matthew Williams.
Turnitaround, a son of Hard Spun, was ridden to perfection by Yendall who gave the 4yo all the favours in the run before finishing strongly to score an easy 2L victory from Chuiquada, with 1.5L away to Rebel Rising in third place.
The win proved to be a very popular one for the throng of locals who cheered the horse home excitedly down the final stanza.
Earlier in the day Martin Kelly steered Thubiaan to a dominant victory in the Scotty Stewart Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) for trainer Eric Musgrove.
Up on the pace all the way, Thubiaan jumped stylishly over the gruelling course before Kelly surged the 7yo to the lead approaching the turn where he dashed away for a 6L win over Jervois, with King Triton 4.25L away in third spot.
Robert Smerdon debutant Dangerous Breeding was an impressive winner of the Hotel Warrnambool VOBIS Gold Strike (1000m).
The Wanted two-year-old was ridden by Mark Zahra, who took full advantage of the filly’s inside gate and it proved to be the deciding factor.
Dangerous Breeding was challenged strongly in the run home by race favourite Maddie Moo Moo, who drew the outside gate, before the first starter shrugged off the challenge than waltzed away to a 2.75L victory over the fave, with Purley Precious a close-up third.
The effort of Maddie Moo Moo to race wide and hold on for second was outstanding and she won’t be long in breaking her maiden.
The biggest winner of the day was the Darren Weir trained Shakudo who treated his rivals with contempt in the Fishtales Cafe Maiden Plate (1200m).
Ridden by Brad Rawiller, the grey gelding showed a dazzling turn of foot in the straight to win by 4L from Hadda Couple, with another 2L back to Doubtless Star.
Trainer Darren Weir managed a treble on the day with Now And Zen, Shakudo and Zanteca all saluting for the leading trainer.
R1 Callaghan Motors Maiden Hurdle (3200m)
1. $1.45F NOW AND ZEN Darren Weir John Allen (5) 68.0
2. $26.00 AGREEMENT Eric Musgrove Arron Lynch (6) 68.0
3. $6.50 KOKA Symon Wilde Shane Jackson (1) 68.0
Margins: 4L, 4.5L
R2 Carlton Mid Maiden Hurdle (3200m)
1. $1.95F BELIVEAU Clinton McDonald Steven Pateman (1) 68.0
2. $10.00 COMPELLED Eric Musgrove Paul Gallagher (6) 68.0
3. $9.50 ARCHIBAR Darren Weir John Allen (10) 68.0
Margins: 3.75L, 3.75L
R3 TAB Maiden Hurdle (3200m)
1. $15.00 ZATAGLIO Eric Musgrove Martin Kelly (6) 66.5
2. $1.70F JILEKS SPUR Ciaron Maher Richard Cully (2) 68.0
3. $8.00 PRIOR Todd Balfour Steven Pateman (10) 68.0
Margins: 0.75L, 3.75L
R4 Hotel Warrnambool VOBIS Gold Strike (1000m)
1. $26.00 DANGEROUS BREEDING Robert Smerdon Mark Zahra (1) 57.0
2. $3.60F MADDIE MOO MOO Darren Weir Brad Rawiller (12) 57.0
3. $26.00 PURELY PRECIOUS Robbie Griffiths Jamie Mott (3) 57.0
Margins: 2.75L, 0.25L
R5 Fishtales Cafe Maiden Plate (1200m)
1. $4.40F SHAKUDO Darren Weir Brad Rawiller (16) 58.5
2. $8.50 HADDA COUPLE Jeremy Kenny Dean Yendall (3) 58.5
3. $51.00 DOUBTLESS STAR Peter Chow Craig Robertson (10) 58.5
Margins: 4L, 2L
R6 3YB Scotty Stewart Brierly Steeplechase (3450m)
1. $2.45F THUBIAAN (USA) Eric Musgrove Martin Kelly (4) 68.0
2. $12.00 JERVOIS (NZ) Jarrod McLean Brad McLean (2) 65.5
3. $10.00 KING TRITON Pat Hyland Steven Pateman (10) 66.5
Margins: 6L, 4.25L
R7 Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club BM70 Handicap (1200m)
1. $14.00 SPENCER STREET Robert Smerdon Michael Walker (6) 59.0
2. $7.50 MR WALKER Symon Wilde Damien Oliver (8) 58.5
3. $5.00FREFUSE TO LOSE Mitchell Freedman Ben Melham (4) 56.5
Margins: 1.75L, 0.75L
R8 George Taylor Memorial Showcase BM78 Handicap (2350m)
1. $2.70F ZANTECA Darren Weir Dean Yendall (10) 54.0
2. $19.00 ZAZPARELLA Michael Moroney Dylan Dunn (14) 55.0
3. $7.50 SAVVY HENRY Leon & Troy Corstens Michael Walker (7) 55.0
Margin: 5L, 2.75L
R9 Choices Flooring By Swintons BM64 Handicap (1100m)
1. $21.00 WALK THIS WAY Clint Marshall Michael Walker (12) 60.5
2. $41.00 OVAHEAD Jarrod McLean Ms Jackie Beriman (11) 57.5
3. $5.50 FORGERESS Quinton Scott Brandon Stockdale (4) 59.5
Margins: 0.2L, 0.6L
R10 City of Warrnambool Handicap (1700m)
1. $4.40 TURNITAROUNDVOBIS Matthew Williams Dean Yendall (4) 55.0
2. $5.00 CHIQUADA Ciaron Maher Michael Dee (8) 58.0
3. $7.50 REBEL RISINGVOBIS Clinton McDonald Chris Parnham (3) 54.0
Margins: 2L, 1.5L
Pictures courtesy of Peter Morganti – Morgz Racing @morgzracing