Wins don't come much sweeter in the western region racing scene than when they lift a whole family's fortunes, and Dubbo trainer Myron Cooper got a chance to share in a real family affair in Wellington on Monday.
Cooper, with his five-year-old gelding Gannett Peak took out a well earned win in the opening venture, the 1100m Maiden Plate.
Cooper's daughter Angela was in the saddle for the event and steered Gannett Peak nimbly right up until the end, helping the gelding was away the memory of a near-miss second place finish in Dubbo in December.
Cooper herself earned her first career win in Wellington nearly two years ago, while apprenticed to Goulburn trainer Danny Williams.
Jumping from the first gate caused some concern for the Coopers and their charge, but Gannett Peak found the inside line favourable, and was able to work their way forward into the final battle along the straight, nestling themselves amongst the race leaders ahead of the final straight.
"We were a bit worried about being on the fence," Angela Cooper told Sky Thoroughbred Racing immediately following the win.
"But it did give him some opportunities."
Cooper and Gannett Peak used that position behind the head of the pack and slipped to the inside of the leader, Kody Nestor's Beau Factor, charging hard down the final few hundred metres to take the lead just in time to nab a meaningful win made all the more so due to the trio's connection.
The horse has long been cared for and ridden by Angela, who was more than happy to repay his hard work with a maiden win.
"He's my boy, I ride him everyday, he's lovely, and he's so easy to work with," Angela Cooper said.
"It's a big thrill, not only with it being for dad and being my horse, that kind of thing, it was always going to be good to win."
Gannett Peak finished less than half a length ahead of Beau Factor, who was then followed by Michael Lunn's Bavarian Watts.
Wellington local Kath Bell-Pitomac struggled to find a place aboard Merv Rumble's Ogrim in that opening race, but quickly rebounded, taking Mudgee trainer Gayna Williams' Zoo Station first past the post in the race that followed and securing the $2 favourite a maiden win.
Garry Lunn finished in third in that race with Urus, steered by Rachael Murray.
Racing will return to Wellington following the nine-race slate at the end of January, when a meeting formerly scheduled for the Geurie Race Track has been shifted up the road to the Wellington Club's racing course on Saturday, January 30.