HE might have downplayed the effort, but the broad smile across the face of trainer-driver Graham Betts after Cee Cee Norman produced an upset win at the Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday showed he most certainly enjoyed it.
Betts' four-year-old mare - a $34 outsider - took out a heat of the Harness Racing New South Wales Rewards Series (1,730 metres) with the second win of her career.
It booked her a spot in the $10,000 final to be held at Bathurst next week and no doubt means she will be at shorter odds for that contest.
"She went good today, she had a nice trip, she had to sit until the last minute," Betts said.
"She had a nice sprint on her to get to the front and that's all she needed."
Heading into Wednesday's race, the only win in Cee Cee Norman's 36 career starts had come at Forbes this year on April 25.
In her 10 most recent runs the closest she had come to a win was when finishing 5.2m off the pace and in the other races in that sequence, eight were defeats by 20 plus metres.
It meant she started as a $34 prospect, not many expecting the outsider to figure in the placings, let alone win.
Going from barrier five, Cee Cee Norman got away well and Betts was able to find a spot for her in the trail behind leader Seelsters Song.
As the bell sounded Cee Cee Norman was a length off the pace and while tugging for a bit more rein, Betts kept her under control.
Amanda Turnbull set an easy tempo with Seelsters Song, the first two splits of the last mile being 31.2 and 31.6 seconds, but still enjoyed a half-length advantage over Jo Jo Zip on her outside with 700m to go.
As they hit the bend that pair were eyeballing each other, but Betts was waiting to give his mare room down the sprint lane.
Once he pulled her into the lane and gave her a clear run, she quickly made up ground and with 100m to go, Cee Cee Norman had the lead.
It was not yet job done as Seelsters Song tried to muster another effort, Jo Jo Zip inched closer and Johanna Petronella was on the charge.
But Cee Cee Norman held on to win by a head over Jo Jo Zip ($5.50) with a nose back to Seelsters Song ($4.40) in third.
The result was certainly one Betts enjoyed.
It was the fifth winner in 145 starts this season for Betts' stable, and his sixth victory from 94 appearances in the gig.
It was also a good meeting for The Lagoon trainer Josh Turnbull as his stable snared a trifecta in the Two Year Old Pace (1,730m).
Yes You May (Isobel Ross, $11) claimed the spoils to take his record to two wins from nine starts.
Yes You May sat in the trail for a majority of the trip, before Ross guided him into the sprint lane. He hit the front with around 125m to go, rating 1:57.8 for the win.
The Dawn Ofa New Day x Mayihaveabiscut gelding was bred and is owned by Josh's wife Jess.
Crossing the line 2.2m behind him was stablemate Substitooth (Nathan Turnbull, $8.50), who had shown good gate speed to snatch the early lead.
Yep Got Chooks (Amanda Turnbull, $5.50) completed the trifecta for Turnbull, coming from three back on the fence to claim third.