It was a case of second time lucky for Cessnock trainer Aleacia Bennett as she celebrated her first city win with frontrunner Buddy Honest in the Highway Handicap at Rosehill.
Convinced to give the gelding another crack at a highway because he pulled up well last weekend after a fourth at Warwick Farm, an ecstatic Bennett practically rode him home from track side on Saturday.
“It’s very exciting. This is what it’s all about,” Bennett said after Buddy Honest led all the way to score the 1100m race by two lengths.
“He’s had a really easy week after last weekend. He’s only really trotted so I thought I thought he’s fine.
“He was jumping out of his skin on Sunday so why not bring him back? I wasn’t overly confident but I knew he try his little heart out because that’s what he does.”
Rachel Murray, who in June became the first female jockey in NSW to record a century of winners in a season, had Buddy Honest ($10) set the pace and he was never threatened on a good 4.
Star Ambition ($7.50) was second and Our Finvarra ($13) was three-quarters of a length back in third.
Bennett’s first city winner follows Deny Allcharges’ two unsuccessful attempts to snag a Highway last December.
She said Buddy Honest deserved a break after an eight-race preparation and a five-week freshen-up to reassess his next campaign.
“He’s just learning. He’s been so slow, he’s been very immature. He’s finally figured out he’s a racehorse,” she said.