IT only appeared a matter of time before Hawkesbury-based gelding Trial Ground broke through for his maiden win and he finally managed it at Bathurst yesterday, taking out the Rural Press Limited Entires and Geldings Maiden Handicap (1100 metres).
In his previous nine outings he had been pushed back into second three times and third once, most of those races coming on metropolitan and provincial tracks.
Against what was an inexperienced field at Tyers Park, even by maiden standards, he was expected to be able to break his drought and that’s exactly what he did as jockey Jay Ford guided the son of Trade Fair out of Starenza to an all-the-way win.
“He really needed that,” victorious trainer Scott Singleton said afterwards.
“I think that basically he just didn’t want to win. We wanted to see him get out there and just get a win under his belt to give him some confidence and hopefully we will see him go on and do a lot more after getting that first win.
“I was extremely happy with the ride as well.”
Going from barrier three, the $2.20 favourite went to work early and within the first 100m had settled on the rail and at the head of the field.
Strung out behind him thanks to some hefty early pace, the field tried to pressure him largely through Little Eric ($51.60) and Malraux ($39.10) but the leader was dictating terms and it was going to take a big run to beat him.
In a great frontrunning effort, Trial Ground hit the bend a length clear of his nearest foes and by the time he entered the straight he had two lengths on the field and didn’t look like being run down.
Rank outsider Grey Pariz ($106.60) looked the most likely to push him close and he did get to within a length and a half at the 200m mark but as soon as Ford pressed the accelerator again, the favourite extended his lead once more.
Arguably the run of the race came from Cowra gelding Oscar Tosca ($30.80) who got hemmed onto the rail for the majority of the race.
Once he did finally get clear in the last furlong, he made good ground and easily went past Grey Pariz to snatch second, just over two lengths behind the winner and three quarters of a length clear of Grey Pariz.