After saddling up over 100 starters for no winners, Wagga trainer Trevor Sutherland produced a big day at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Monday.
Sutherland trained four winners, plus had two more placings, to extend his lead in the Southern District Racing Association (SDRA) trainers premiership.
Sutherland went winless through June, but the stable returned to winning ways with Extra Cool, Real Key, Sir Ottavio and Tearful Kitty all tasting success.
“It has been coming,” Sutherland said.
“I’ve been happy how they’ve been racing, they have been racing well, and probably had a few rides that could have turned things around, but everything fell into place.
“We’re starting to get a few better ones into work which helps.”
Sutherland thought racing on the rain-affected ground helped as well.
Gunning for his for his fourth SDRA trainers premiership, despite the lean patch Sutherland was confident things would turn around.
“I wasn’t worried too much and while we all like winners you just have to keep doing what you do,” he said.
“You have these days to turn it around.”
He was most impressed with debutant Real Key.
Coming off two trial wins, the son of Bon Hoffa dug deep to win the Patriots Bloodstock & Pacing 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m) by the narrowest of margins.
“I think Real Key is an outstanding horse,” Sutherland said. “I honestly believe he’s every bit as good as Power Alert, or better.
“To do what he has done in his prep, from the breaker to me and winning a very strong three-year-old maiden, which I think will be a very strong form, race half shin sore and half fit.”
Real Key is headed for a spell but Sutherland has pencilled in a crack at the Country Championships next season with him.
Sutherland was pleased to see Sir Ottavio return to winning ways in the Ron Crouch Transport Riverina Cup Prelude Benchmark 65 Handicap (2500m).
Tearful Kitty also provide veteran jockey Brett Fliedner with his first win since December 2016.
The four wins sees Sutherland seven clear of Craig Widdison in the premiership race.
The Wodonga trainer got one back when Cash Crisis held off a late charge from Gentleman Max to win the last race on the card.
The jockeys premiership is even tighter with Nick Heywood holding a one-win lead over Simon Miller.
Heywood and Miller went into the meeting locked on 26 before Heywood won with Rock ‘N’ Roller.
James Richards and Nick Souquet stayed within two wins after tasting success aboard Flying Cyril and Hoffski respectively.