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Image: Brett Holburt
Ocean Beyond has returned to the winner's enclosure for the first time in almost 12 months at Ballarat

Ocean Beyond has capped off a big week for jockey Harry Coffey coming with a well-timed run to score at Ballarat.

Coffey married Tayla in Swan Hill last weekend and returned to the saddle at The Valley on Friday night before heading to Ballarat on Saturday to claim the $150,000 Tonks Plate (1200m).

A well-judged ride saw the Daniel Bowman-trained Ocean Beyond ($5.50) score a short-neck win from the $3.10 favourite The Gauch with Fine Dane ($10) three-quarters-of-a-length away third.

Coffey said it helped having a good association with Ocean Beyond having ridden the four-year-old in all of his eight starts, including three wins.

“It’s good that we had a bit of luck and the gaps came,” Coffey said.

“He’s a horse who has a really good turn-of-foot especially if he’s held up and even though it doesn’t look pretty sometimes, when that gap comes, he can really be explosive through it.

“There were a couple of tight little runs and I thought I’m better off waiting until the gaps come rather than forcing the runs because when the gaps come, he can go through, but he’ll let go a lot better than if he had to barge his way out.

“He’s not an overly big or powerful horse but when he’s given room he’s got a beautiful turn-of-foot and knowing that helps.”

Saturday’s victory was Ocean Beyond’s first since winning a Listed race at The Valley on November 28 last year, the gelding’s second race start.

“We haven’t had a lot of luck this preparation,” Coffey said.

“It hasn’t gone right and the connections and Daniel, they’ve continued to put me on, and when that happens you start to know that they really want you to ride the horse and then things like that happen today and it comes off.

“I was a bit rusty, but the horse made me look good.”

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