Walter continues Racecourse Drive streak 

HE had a monopoly on race four and the favourite in race five.

It came as no surprise that Warwick Farm trainer Guy Walter continued his love affair with Goulburn, clocking a pair of wins in the first feature at Racecourse Drive of the new year on Thursday.

The nine-time GDRC premiership winning trainer nominated six starters for the Bi-Rite Electrical 3yo Maiden Handicap, five of whom started. Second favourite Ameliorate, ridden by Walter’s go-to man Rod Quinn, upstaged the well-backed Tribal Art by a half-head.

Walter, who props-up his Warwick Farm headquarters with a satellite stable at the Goulburn facility, only had to wait another half-an-hour to again enjoy the spoils of victory.

Five-time premiership winning jockey Kathy O’Hara saluted atop favourite Jesmond in the Storage King Benchmark Handicap.

The softly spoken trainer was especially pleased with the performance of Ameliorate, whose triumph at Goulburn doubled as the first of her career. The victory certainly won’t be the last the three-year-old filly registers, Walter says.

“She’s a nice filly, she’s shown promise. On the way up,” a satisfied Walter said moments after the first of his two wins.

“I thought her and Dineeta were the best two credentialed going in, the others have a bit to learn. I thought Zabeiro, running back in the field was a very nice run… Overall, very pleased with the winner.” The wins further strengthen Walter’s position at the top of the 2012/13 premiership standings and reaffirm his love for the Goulburn facility, one he says should join the provincial ranks.

“I love the spaciousness of the track, compared with a lot of the tight Sydney tracks,” Walter said.

“I’ve got a stable here, so I tend to have more runners than elsewhere. I love the track, it’s a beautiful track, close proximity to Sydney.” Asked whether Goulburn was ready to the join the likes of Kembla Grange and Newcastle as a provincial status track, Walter was succinct: “I think we should, my word,” he said.

Sydney heavyweight Anthony Cummins doesn’t mind sending his horses down the Hume Highway.

Cummins notched yet another win at the Goulburn facility, this time with green filly Super Confidential. Experienced hoop Peter Robl guided the first-time starter home from Walter’s Vasar.

Other winners on Thursday included Jarrod Austin’s Private Label, who claimed race one honours by a neat two lengths, Gwenda Markwell’s Luna Kingdom, Brett Jones’ Macks Cutie, Steve Englebrecht’s Lucky Lucky Lucky and the Hawkes brothers’ up-and-comer Revengeful, ridden by reigning premiership winning jockey Jay Ford.

Racing returns to Racecourse Drive on February 15. The club hopes to press its claims for provincial status with three meets scheduled for the next month.

The trio of features act as a precursor to Goulburn’s 150th Birthday meet on March 15.

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