PATIENCE and perseverance paid off for Dubbo trainer Mick Lunn yesterday when his mare Always Rose broke her maiden status at her 27th start when taking out the Evergreen Turf Maiden Handicap (1100m).
With Adam Gain in the saddle the seven-year-old mare, which Lunn also owns, was able to cross from a wide barrier and settle on the speed before kicking away and holding off her rivals in the run to the line.
Prior to yesterday Always Rose ($15.00) had finished in the placings on seven occasions, including three of her previous five starts, and had been caught wide at her most recent outing when eighth at Coonabarabran.
But thanks to a decisive ride from Gain the mare was able to break through for a win which Lunn admitted he had expected to come a lot earlier.
"We backed her big time to win about $80,000 one day when the previous owner had her but she didn't get the job done," Lunn said.
"I always knew she had the ability to win a race and I was expecting her to go alright today because she just had no luck at Coonabarabran last week.
"She was just wide all the way that time but she got a bit more luck today and Adam rode her well and it was a good result."
While she didn't want much further than the 1100m of yesterday's race, Always Rose had just enough on store to hold off the fast finish of Sutton Quality ($10.00, Greg Ryan) by three-quarters-of-a-length with Riviera Rebel ($15.00, Mathew Cahill) a half-head away in third.
The time for the 1100m journey was 1:04.16s.
For Gain the win continued a good recent run he has had, highlighted by his association with handy sprinter Zarhron.
"Things have been going well recently and it was good to get a win on this mare today because I rode her a couple of starts ago at Wellington and she hung coming down the hill and around the turn there that day and finished second," Gain said.
"Mick said she had no luck last week but even though we drew wide today I didn't think that would happen again because she has enough speed to cross in a 900m race so I thought she would be able to get across easily today which is what happened.
"She got a couple of easy sectionals in the middle of the race and then skipped away when I asked her. The others came but she held them, even though at the end she was getting a bit tired."