Warrnambool's Wilde family scored another memorable win at the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival on Wednesday with the family-owned Inn Keeper claiming a stunning success in the Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap (1200m).
Trainer Symon Wilde said he tried a slightly different preparation with the seven-year-old gelding, starting and winning at Terang a fortnight ago before heading to the race known as The Newmarket of the Bush.
Jockey Dean Holland allowed Inn Keeper ($12.80) to settle just off the speed set by regular metropolitan winner Ancestry.
Holland peeled out to look for a clear passage rounding the turn and got into the best part of the track to flash home.
Inn Keeper won by a length from South Australia sprinter Dexelation ($14.60, Jye McNeil) with $8.50 pop Simply Optimistic (Daniel Moor) a neck away third.
Wilde said the preparation was different because Inn Keeper was getting on in years.
"If he won at Terang we definitely thought we would run him in the Wangoom," he said.
"He hadn't been in a race that soft for a while. He was always a chance here. He's an on-speed horse and he's back in form. It's bloody beautiful."
Part-owner and Wilde family matriarch Karen Wilde said it was a great thrill to win the Wangoom handicap.
The family previously won the Wangoom with Arch Symbol in 2009 and Inn Keeper finished third in the Wangoom last year after winning at the carnival in 2018.
"I'm actually in the ownership which is unusual, so is Amy (daughter) and a lot of the family," Mrs Wilde said.
Symon Wilde said it was a dream win.
"The family bred the horse and he's out of a good mare that we had," he said.
"Some of the cricket boys I play cricket with out at Purnim, I got them in the ownership, roped them in.
"We thought he was a horse that could win a Wangoom. I think he was favourite two years ago but he rode the speed too hard that day. He had a campaign last time without winning.
"He should have won at Caulfield but he ran third in this race. He's been forgotten about a little bit being a seven-year-old.
"I don't think he raced until he was nearly four. I just thought he was the right horse in this race and I can't believe he's done it so late in his career.
On the Terang win, Wilde was impressed.
"I thought it was a wonderful run," he said.
"He's never been ridden that far back and he had a lot of work to do. We were guided by that if he won we were going to go to this race. 'Stumpy' (Luke Williams) had been riding him and doing a bit of work on him and I thought he was terrific through the line and that gave us real encouragement. He's trained on beautifully."
Holland knew he was on a winning chance.
"I watched his win last start and I went to Camperdown trials half trying to chase the ride on him and I'd done about 17 horses and eventually got to gallop him," he said.
"I said to Symon, 'I really think he's a good chance for the Wangoom can I ride him?' He said 'I can't see why not'. Perfect weight for me. He was never going to get beaten from the 600 (metre mark). I thought I'd just ride the rail the whole way but I just had that more horse that I just had to look for a way out and he was never going to get beaten.
"I had too much horse and I was always going to be able to maneuver around other horses, he was going that good. I wasn't worried, I just wanted to go at the right stage."
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