Until recently five year old This Is Livin’ was regarded as the poor relation of eight year old full brother Zarhron, the Andrew Molloy-trained star sprinter who won a fourth straight Japan Cowra Cup this year.
Zarhron has won 12 races from 31 starts while This Is Livin’, also trained by Molloy for Crookwell’s Ashley Gilbert and friends, took 18 starts to post the first win.
That was in a Maiden Handicap at Narromine in December but has since won at Parkes and again at Gilgandra on Saturday.
Given a good run behind the leading pair in the Gilgandra Newspapers Class 2 Handicap (1550m), This Is Livin’ (Ken Dunbar, $2.20 favourite) took control in the straight and won by over two lengths from Dream In Colour (Vad Bolozhinskyi, $7.50) and Steam Machine (Tony Cavallo, $14).
Local trainer Bryan Dixon landed a winning double at Gilgandra including Return Journey, who took out the Tooraweenah Cup Benchmark 54 Handicap (1000m) feature event.
Possessing abundant early pace, eight-year-old mare Return Journey (Clayton Gallagher, $3.70) was attacked for the lead by another speedster in Gillie Mooch but fought on well to beat Savannah Girl (Kaylee Kirkwood, $7.50) And Chatteriz (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $3.60).
Return Journey was originally an emergency for the event but the mare made the most of her chance to make it five wins from 70 career starts.
Second leg of the double for Dixon was Sugar Lane (Adam Spinks, $6), an all the way winner of the Roach’s Contracting Benchmark 50 Handicap (1280m). Huka Pele (Eleanor Webster-Hawes, $41) and More Than Art (Ken Dunbar, $17) filled the placings.
Clayton Gallagher finished with a winning double after he led most of the way on the Rodney Robb trained Madison Gardens ($2.25 favourtie) to defeat Outta Space (Michael Hackett, $2.40) and East Coast (Greg Ryan, $11) in the Chandler Gilgandra Maiden Handicap (1200m).
Other Gilgandra winners were the Garry Lunn, Dubbo trained Pretty Pine (Alena Skerritt, $6) and Cunningar Lass (Greg Ryan, $1.70 favourite), trained by Wyong’s Allan Denham.