It was a day of firsts for two trainers at Moonee Valley with Chris Calthorpe and Bryan Maher preparing their first metropolitan winners.
Seven-year-old Young Nicola brought up an early Moonee Valley double for apprentice Jye McNeil in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m) and in the process gave Geelong trainer Calthorpe his first win in town.
One race later, it was 27-year-old Maher who achieved the thrill of his first city win when Runsati landed a long-shot betting move in the Jeep Handicap (1500m).
Runsati firmed from $41 to $26 before racing to a 1-1/2 length first-up win with Linda Meech aboard.
Runsati is one of two horses Maher has in work at his Benalla property in country Victoria where he breaks in young horses and has been training for five years.
“It’s unbelievable,” Maher said.
“I didn’t expect that at all. If he could have run a place I would’ve been rapt. But I didn’t expect him to win in that fashion at all.”
Calthorpe, meanwhile, has a team of 15 horses in work having started training in 2013. He also has a domestic horse transport business, Air Horse Transport.
“I’ve had the transport business over 20 years. I love doing it, flying them all domestically,” Calthorpe said.
Young Nicola was sent out at $10 and defeated Darcy’s Law by 1-3/4 lengths with Bet You She Rocks another 1-1/4 lengths away third.
“She’s been a horse I’ve had pretty much since day one,” Calthorpe said.
“It’s a good day. A very good day.”
McNeil won on Siegestor for the Leon and Troy Corstens stable in the second race of the day before adding another win in the next race on Young Nicola.