ARARAT - Top country jockey Dean Yendall showed his experience last Sunday at NMIT Ararat Park claiming a rare treble at the St Patrick's Day race meeting.
Yendall twice combined with Ballarat trainer Darren Weir to produce two crafty victories, while he got the meeting off to a good start saluting aboard Ciaron Maher's Nullabar Belle in race one.
Ararat Turf Club manager Adam Atchison said Yendall read the conditions well to swoop down the outside of the track, which is usually an uncharted route at Ararat.
"When we are irrigating the track it is usually hard to water the outside, but because we had a southerly wind all week in the lead up to the Sunday and the eight mill of rain the night before it had actually softened it up," he said.
"Usually they don't go down the outside because it is too hard and it jars the horses up, but with that extra water, instead of being fast it was a good rating and Dean was the first to go down the outside and it seemed to work."
Apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman narrowly edged out the Yendall-ridden Aurelii in the second race with Shot Of Scarlet, while Stawell trainers Terry and Karina O'Sullivan's Moon Light Cristi finished third.
Weir took the quinella in race three of the day with Sutanoc (Yendall) a three and a half length winner from stable mate Champagne Esprit with Michelle Payne on board.
The Bill and Symon Wilde trained Decoupez broke through for its maiden victory in the fourth event of the day and two Saddlers, John (trainer) and Thomas (jockey) teamed up to get three-year-old filly Wowee across the line first in race five.
Danny Curran's race favourite Tequila Queen won the penultimate event of the day, before the formidable Yendall/Weir pairing again tasted victory in the last with Reddamour blitzing the field to win by sixth lengths.
Atchison said despite conditions not being favourable those that attended enjoyed the atmosphere.
"The weather wasn't real kind to us, we did get more there than what we would have mid-week but the crowd wasn't huge," he said.
"It rained the night before so the track was rated a slow seven, but other than that it was a pretty good meeting.
"There were quite a few from a social committee in Ballarat that dressed up in some green and the green keg ran out of beer just as the last race finished, so that was a hit."
The next meeting at NMIT Ararat Park will be the Willaura Cup on Sunday, April 28.
"The Ararat Turf Club is looking forward to hosting members from Willaura, Lake Bolac and other southern parts of the Ararat Rural City," Atchison said.
The popular furlong dash, which sees footballers and netballers from around the region race each other down the straight will be back once again at the Willaura Cup meeting. This year will see the race run as a relay, for more information contact Ararat Turf Club manager Adam Atchison on 0408 564 501.
More pictures - See page 40.