Gillie Mooch showed all her trademark speed when scoring the fifth win of her career at Wellington on Sunday.
Trained at Dubbo by Justin Stanley, the six-year-old Gillie Mooch is well known for her early speed and after shooting out of the gates on Sunday she held on to win the Quains Liquor Benchmark 55 Handicap (900m).
Kenny Succeed threatened to give Kody Nestor a dream debut as a trainer but he wasn’t able to overhaul Stanley’s hope and had to settle for second.
In an open race, Gillie Mooch jumped wide from gate eight as a $4.60 chance while there was also plenty of interest around the Rodnet Robb-trained Bryan’s Babe ($3 favourite) and Clint Lundholm’s new recruit, Sons Of Bourke.
Despite the wide draw, promising apprentice Ronald Simpson was able to boot Gillie Mooch to the front while Kenny Succeed ($13) , ridden by Anthony Cavallo, also got forward well.
Those two quickly put some space between themselves and the rest of the field, leaving Raheen Lady ($11) to lead the chasing pack.
By the time the leading pair entered the bend for home it was clear it was a race between two.
For a moment it appeared Gillie Mooch might tire but Simpson urged her on.
In the end she scored comfortably, winning by just over half a length from Kenny Succeed while Andrew Banks guided Sons Of Bourke to a third-placed finish.
Raheen Lady was fourth for Connie Greig, meaning horses from Dubbo stables filled the first four spots.
The win was another example of the promise Simpson is showing in the saddle.
The win was the fourth of Simpson’s career and came in just his 15th start.
It also made it consecutive wins for Gillie Mooch and Simpson at Wellington after the pair had earlier combined to score at the track on Boxing Day.
Gillie Mooch’s win was followed by two surprise results.
The Greig-trained Naoko may have shown improvement in recent starts but she still started the Wellington Boot 8th April Benchmark 55 Handicap (1400m) a $20 chance.
Those who did have some on her were left cheering when Cavallo got the six-year-old to surge late and win by a third-of-a-length.
The Darren Hyde-trained Milk ‘N’ Brandy ($6.50) was one of the first into the straight and Redirect ($6) also threatened by Cavallo had space down the outside and moved clear.
That was followed by a breakthrough win to the Peter Stanley-trained Quint Australis in the Mudgee Machinery Maiden Handicap (1000m).
Quint Australis ($16) went into the event having not won in 30 career starts but scored by a third-of-a-length from Dukebox George ($2.70) and Bells ‘N’ Bows ($9.50).