It might have been a midweek meeting at Sandown but it was a memorable day for apprentice Ethan Brown.
The Cranbourne-based 18-year-old notched his first metropolitan treble on Wednesday, his third, after previous big days at country venues Whycheproof and Bairnsdale.
Formerly apprenticed in Alice Springs, Brown is now indentured to Mick Kent and his Wycheproof treble came at his first meeting in Victoria.
Wednesday’s victories were for three different trainers, Brendan McCarthy (Blondie), Robert Smerdon (Motown Lil) and Darren Weir (Speedeor).
Brown has now ridden 14 city winners including two doubles, and says Sandown is his favourite track.
“I enjoy riding this track,” Brown said.
“It’s a patient track to ride at.
“You let your horse balance up into the long straight and let your horse do the work.”
Brown says being fitter, both physically and mentally, has helped improve his riding throughout the year.
“Outside of race riding I’m doing a lot of training, getting a lot fitter and more flexible,” he said.
“I do a bit of boxing, a lot of swimming.
“It’s improved my fitness and helps clear my mind and helps me ride a better race.
“Being fitter allows you to be a bit more proactive in a race and it certainly helps you in a finish.”
Brown said he had never ridden a horse that went through its gears like Speedeor.
The Darren Weir-trained galloper was having his first start since winning at Ballarat last November.
The gelding dipped badly near the 200m mark, but Brown didn’t panic, gathering him up before driving for the line.
“I’ve never had a horse give me that sort of feel going through his gears,” Brown said.
“He hit a soft spot about the 200-metre mark where he dipped and lost a fair bit of momentum and then he had to pick himself up, but in the end he was quite impressive.”
Speedeor was one of four winners for Weir who was also successful with Bonus D’Oro, Ubin Thunderstruck and Night’s Watch.