JOHN Barry opened his season account on his home track last Wednesday, putting an end to a 63 race streak without a victory.
Six horses were saddled up for the local trainer, with four of the six producing results in the top four of their events.
Cherax broke her maiden when winning the opening race, with Beejay’s Hero placing third in the same event, while Peg Leg Ben ran second and Sir Chatalot ran fourth in their races.
Soksi Mambo was ninth on her debut, while Finca Cortesin was once again a late scratching.
Stable foreman Jamie Barry was stoked with how the day unfolded.
“It’s probably been eight or nine months since our last win, which was Peg Leg Ben but we’ve had a few placings since then,” he said.
“Not to just have them win but to get them to perform above expectations, not just ours but other people’s as well, was good.
“Hopefully we can get them to keep performing.”
Barry said he was “happy with every horse”, despite Finca Cortesin’s late scratching putting a “bit of a lull on the day”.
“I think especially with the first race, we were quietly confident with Beejay’s Hero more than Cherax,” he said.
“But we knew she would run an honest race and both would run in the top three or four.
“We were also quietly confident Peg Leg Ben would improve on his first run and Sir Chatalot needed to be used off his gate, but it was a gallant run.
“They all exceeded expectations.”
Cherax’s victory has been a long time coming, with the six year-old having had 16 starts before finally breaking through for her elusive first career win.
Admittedly, Barry said generally the horse takes two to three runs to work into full fitness, which was evident in her last prep.
After two midfield outings, Cherax ran third, a fourth and two seconds in the space of four runs before beginning to fade.
This preparation, the same has occurred, with a ninth on return at Mortlake followed by a sixth at Terang in November before she finally produced the goods in her third start.
With the monkey finally off her back, Barry said there was not a plan to progress her through her classes with the mare potentially having her last preparation.
He said she is likely headed for the breeding barn, but remains hopeful she can add another victory to her résumé before motherhood beckons.
“I think she’ll have to be in the right 1000 metre races still (though),” he said.
“I was planning on taking her to Penshurst whether she won or not, so she’ll keep going to these types of races.
“If she can just win another (benchmark) 58 or a (benchmark) 64 that will top her off, because they ran a pretty slick pace (last week).”
With the season starting to get busier for the stable, Barry said they would continue to target local meetings as much as possible over the coming months.
He said Cherax, Sir Chatalot and Soksi Mambo should all be headed to Penshurst, while suitable races would need to be found for Peg Leg Ben, Finca Cortesin and Beejay’s Hero.
However, he said the those horses should all be raring to go as they were all only a handful of runs into their preps except for Sir Chatalot.
The stable has been busy undertaking extra training, while jockey Luke Williams has been coming to Terang to gallop the horses, easing his workload to a degree.
Barry said he was thankful to the Terang and District Racing Club for accommodating the later trackwork times, which allowed each horse to enjoy a lighter ride when in work.
“They’re all fairly fresh into their prep and we’re swimming them of a night time (which has helped),” he said.
“We’ve also had Luke Williams coming over once a week which has been good because it keeps my heavy weight off them.”