A bit of trial and error has worked for Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell who scored an impressive win with Mark Of The Man in the last race at Warrnambool on Wednesday.
Experienced jockey Linda Meech allowed the four-year-old bay gelding ($7.30) to pick his way through the heavy going to find the finish line three-quarters of a length clear of Cranbourne galloper Hopkins ($16.90).
"He's a horse that has always shown us a lot of ability and I think I've got him wrong a few times," Purcell said
"I took him to Adelaide a few weeks ago and thought he was going to win. He was a little bit plain over there, but I think he appreciates softer ground so we targeted this race and did all we could to get him here in the best shape we could.
"Obviously it was good to get a good Linda Meech ride and it was great to watch."
Purcell said he bought Mark Of The Man at the Tattersalls Autumn Sale.
"He's not the normal sort of horse I buy from there," he said.
"He's a two-year-old sprinter/miler and we thought we'd try something different.
"Early days it looked like we'd found a gem and he got a bit frustrating, but he's obviously a horse that handles soft ground, so I'm confident we'll have a good winter with him.
"Linda has ridden him a few times, she's trialled him at Terang the other day. She's very fond of the horse and gets on well with him.
"We'll be trying to use her every chance we get."
Meech has now claimed three winners at the carnival this year to head the jockeys leaderboard.
"It just shows how competitive it is. Three is not a big tally but I'm happy with it," she said.
"He was super, he trialled really well at Terang.
"I rode a heap of horses at Terang last week and I was pretty excited to be coming here this week on them because they all trialled up really well.
"The way he went out of the mounting yard I knew he was going to be hard to beat.
"He was really happy and fresh."
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