KOROIT hobby trainer James McNamara scored the biggest win of his eight-year career yesterday when he won the $25,000 Coleraine Cup with Hornets' Nest.
McNamara parted with $2500 to purchase Hornets' Nest from a mixed thoroughbred sale in March.
The five-year-old was formerly trained by Anthony Freedman and has graduated from a maiden galloper to a country cups horse within three starts.
He defeated the favourite Oforawesome by half a head in yesterday's feature flat race.
McNamara was excited with the performace of Hornets' Nest after he tracked wide in the 1800-metre race from barrier 10.
"He's only the third flat horse that I've trained. I had been focus ed on messing around with jumping horses," he said.
"I'll never forget the first morning that I gave him a serious gallop down at the Killarney beach in April. I came home and said to (wife) Lisa the horse is a real head case but he's got a big motor.
"Lisa told me not to be in a hurry with him. She told me if it took 18 months to get the horse ready, it would work out all right.
"I'm glad she gave me that advice.
"I've just taken the horse along slowly and he's kept on improving. I think there's still more improvement in him."
McNamara said apprentice jockey Rhagan Cross had no option but to push forward on Hornets' Nest from the wide barrier.
"I had a good chat with Rhagan before the race," he said.
"We thought about dropping back but really we had to push forward. He's a free running horse. He had won his first two races for us as a leader so we decided not to change the plans today.
"I suppose if we got beat we would have been a good thing beaten, but that was our call to go forward.
"Rhagan never panicked at any stage, even when they were coming near her in the end."
Hornets' Nest will now be aimed at a $50,000 restricted race over 2200 metres at Warrnambool on October 18.
McNamara said the only downside to the win was that his wife could not make the trip to Coleraine as she was running their Koroit milk bar.
Hornets' Nest has picked up nearly $35,000 in prizemoney for his connections from his three wins for McNamara.
Top jumps trainer Eric Musgrove has earmarked a start in the 2013 Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool for End Of Time after he won the $20,000 Great Western Steeplechase at Coleraine yesterday.
End Of Time was backing up from a third placing in a 2800m hurdle race at Mount Gambier on Thursday before scoring an impressive win over top-weight Half Moon Rising in the 3600m race.
Musgrove said he expected more improvement in End Of Time for next year's jumping season.
"He's a nice horse. I've always had a good opinion of him," he said.
"He's done an excellent job for a first-season jumper.
"We decided to give him the steeplechase start here as it's the last jumps race for the year.
"I think a race like the Warrnambool Brierly Steepelchase would be an ideal race for him. He'll be going home and going straight into the paddock."
End Of Time had won two hurdle races before his steeplechase success.