CIARON Maher failed to train his first Ballarat Cup winner on Saturday, instead the Winslow-born trainer won the Penshurst Cup for the first time.
Court Deep, who is trained by Maher and his training partner David Eustace, won the $30,000 Penshurst Cup over 2000 metres but their Ballarat Cup runners - Thought Of That, Charleise and Bartholomeu Deus - were unplaced in the $500,000 race.
Maher praised Court Deep and his jockey Jarrod Lorensini following the victory over Takumi and Under Oath.
"It's great to pick up our first Penshurst Cup," he told The Standard.
"I had a few rides at Penshurst for a winner or two during my career as a jockey but it's great to come back and win the Penshurst Cup with Court Deep as a trainer.
"Penshurst Cup day has always been an iconic race meeting on the local racing calendar. We were sure Court Deep would be hard to beat on the strength of his good run at Flemington earlier this month at the spring carnival.
"I thought it was a good ride by Jarrod. He rides Court Deep in his track work and has a great understanding of the horse."
Pebble Raider set a keen pace early before Court Deep joined in at the 900-metre mark.
"It was Court Deep's first try at 2000 metres but we were always confident that he would run the distance out strongly," Maher said.
"Court Deep has just been taken along slowly through his grades. He showed today with a bit more time he could develop into a handy stayer."
Talented jockey Will Gordon took the riding honours booting home three winners on the nine race program. Gordon was successful on Opicina, Libbyangel and Autumn's Best.
Meanwhile, Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman had good reason not to be on track to watch his handy galloper Ocean Beyond win the $150,000 Tonks Plate at Ballarat on Saturday.
Bowman was on bus trip to Bendigo for the buck's party of his good mate Josh Julius.
Ocean Beyond, ridden by Harry Coffey, got up in the last couple of strides to defeat The Gauch by a short neck with Fine Dane back in third place in the 1200-metre race.
"It's great to see Ocean Beyond had a change in luck," Bowman told The Standard.
"He's been unlucky in a couple of runs. We dropped him back in distance from the 1400 metres to the 1200 metres. Ocean Beyond is very fit and deserved the win. It was a good ride by Harry. He just held Ocean Beyond up for one crack at them.
Ocean Beyond has won three of eight and with a bit of luck he may have had another win or two.
"I had known for a few weeks Josh's buck's party was on that date - believe me there was a bit of cheering when Ocean Beyond got his head in front on the line."
Promising mare Duchess Of Dorset added another win to her record for local trainer Symon Wilde winning a $130,000 race. Duchess Of Dorset registered her fourth win from six starts in defeating Way To Go Paula by more than two lengths.
"Duchess Of Dorset is a reliable horse," Wilde said. "She's bombproof in everything she does. She's a lovely quiet horse. We'll look at lifting the bar with her now. I think she's up to stakes quality."
From her six starts Duchess Of Dorset has won more then $155,000 in stakemoney for her connections.
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