A stint in boot camp and some crucial gear changes proved the catalyst for Easy Running to end a losing streak at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.
After Easy Running ran 10th at Grafton on July 14, trainer Desleigh Forster decided some tough love was required.
“We did plenty of work with him at home which included schooling him over the hurdles,” Forster said.
“I think he’s been having a bit of a game with us. Just going out on raceday and following them around.”
Forster also made several gear changes including putting blinkers and a tongue tie on the gelding.
Convincing Easy Running’s owners to be patient wasn’t easy but Forster’s persistence paid off when the five-year-old won his first race since the Mick Dittman Plate in April last year.
“A few of the owners wanted to sack him and get out but I asked them to stay solid for another month and they did so it’s a bit relief to see him win,” she said.
Ridden by Paul Hammersley, Easy Running ($20) led from the outset and withstood a determined challenge from runner-up Benny’s Buttons, the $2 favourite, in the straight to win the Ticketek Handicap (1300m) by a neck.
“Desleigh said to me before the race `no more Mr nice guy’ and to make sure I had him out and running,” Hammersley said.
“His attitude was spot-on and I was confident when the runner-up got to within a neck of us that he wouldn’t give in.”
Hammersley’s career takes a new turn when he moves to Sydney on Sunday week.
“I’m at a stage in my life where if I was ever going to give it a go, now is the time,” he said.
“The strength of riders is quite strong here but the prizemoney down there is a lot better.”