Warrnambool-trained horse Val Mondo showed welcome form but not enough to prevent favorite Costa In The Glen from winning the Peter Blank Sprint at Terang.
Val Mondo, Aaron Purcell’s imported galloper once bound for the Melbourne Cup, placed second in the $10,000 feature as part of the New Year’s Day meeting.
The run came after a 13-week lay-off following disappointing results in the spring.
But as impressive as he was, he wasn’t good enough to overcome the Kelvin Bourke-trained $1.90 favourite, which won the 1125-metre race by 3.3 lengths.
Costa In The Glen, ridden by Warrnambool’s Nikita McLean, started from barrier two and sat second early before hitting the front with 400m to go.
Loaded Owners, trained by Jason Clifford and ridden by Jack Hill, was third, 3.5 lengths behind the winner.
Costa In The Glen was one of four favourites to salute in the six-race meeting.
Jockey Steven Vella took the riding honours, steering two winners home, while Camperdown trainer Ron Gravett and Colac’s Mark Young were the only south-west Victorian trainers to taste success.