Bjorn Baker bagged the training honours in an action-packed day at Wyong with speedy colt Malkovich and progressive mare Exotic Ruby tasting success.
Locals Kim Waugh and Kristen Buchanan also featured, with Destacado and Margie Bee recording nice wins.
Brenton Avdulla also bagged a double aboard Ballistic Lover for Joe Pride and Verbal Assault for Matthew Dunn.
It was off the track that created the most drama, with a police operation causing delays before the second and fifth race.
The first of the Baker double came in the 1100m WYONG RACE CLUB CG&E MAIDEN.
Rachel King continued her winning Wyong run, partnering Malkovich to a dominate victory.
The promising son of Choisir, syndicated by Darby Racing, was having his third race start, and coming off a first up third at Kensington on August 26.
The three-year-old was narrowly beaten that day and the drop back in grade gave punters plenty of confidence, sending him out the $1.45 race favourite.
King took the $85,000 yearling to an early lead, pulling away on the turn to blitz the opposition by four and a half lengths.
Steve McLean, representing the Baker stable, said they had a good opinion of Malkovich.
“I know Bjorn thinks he’s up to stakes company. He’s definitely got the speed to compete in that company.
“It’s going to be up to him. He’s got to take that next step now and show us what he’s got.”
Malkovich beat Finally Realised ($19) trained by Peter Robl, with Born A Warrior ($2.50) from the Hawkes stable, a close third.
Baker’s second win came with the heavily backed Exotic Ruby, who didn’t disappoint favourite backers taking out the POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK – REMEMBERING FALLEN OFFICERS CLASS 1 over 1350m.
The Snitzel mare was coming off a second at Hawkesbury over 1300m on September 5 and the stable were confident she would run well.
She was sent out $2.50 favourite on the back of her consistent metropolitan and provincial form.
Josh Parr settled the five-year-old midfield, rounding the field on the turn.
She managed to overhaul her rivals in the final stages, in a close three-way finish, to win by a long neck.
Steve McLean said the stable had a good opinion of the mare and believed there was plenty of improvement to come.
“She was a touch further back than we anticipated today but nevertheless she had a great run in transit and got the job done,” he said.
“The Hawkesbury race really tuned her up and she was dappled up lovely today.
“I know Bjorn is leaving the blinkers up his sleeve too. He has been spoken about them since her first run for the stable so there is plenty more to come.”
Exotic Ruby, a $260,000 yearling, beat the O’Shea trained Crosscheck ($8.50), with Atherton ($5.50), from the Waugh stable, third.
A super ride by Brenton Avdulla secured victory for the Joe Pride trained Ballistic Lover, who broke through for her maiden win over 1100m.
Pride had been hopeful the Smart Missile filly could taste success in the COCA-COLA F&M MAIDEN, after performing well in two recent trials.
He expected Ballistic Lover to settle just behind the speed, but things didn’t go as planned.
Avdulla had to change tactics after the three-year-old blew the start, landing her toward the rear of the field.
He pinched ground along the rails but had to wait until a run presented in the straight.
When the split came around the 200m mark, he angled through and drew away to record a dominant three and a half length win.
“It was the moment of truth for her,” Pride said, “and she didn’t let us down.
“We’ve been putting a bit of work into getting her to settle since the Canterbury run and obviously that’s the best way to ride her.
“All her best runs have been on the short course, on the fresh side, so we will just try and repeat that before putting her over more ground.
“She ended up well back today and more often than not it’s not the spot to be.
“But it was like Brenton was driving a Ferrari around some VW’s, it was a little bit easy for him picking off the runs.
“I’m very happy with that filly’s win today, it shows she’s on her way.”
Alura ($10) from the O’Shea stable was runner-up, with Godolphin’s Attribution ($7.50) a half-length behind in third.
Kim Waugh kicked off the home track meeting with a winner, after Destacado ($6) upset the heavily fancied favourite in the DE BORTOLI WINES MAIDEN over 1350m.
It was the second successive Wyong meeting, where Waugh has opened the program with a win.
Destacado, a Reset gelding, drifted late in the betting as heavy support came for the Mark Newnham trained Write On, who was sent out $1.60 favourite.
Nash Rawiller settled Destacado just behind the speed, taking him to the outside on straightening before running down the leaders to score a length win.
Waugh had been confident the lightly raced five-year-old, a $160,000 yearling, would perform well.
“I was really happy going into today’s race,” she said.
“He’s had a tendon injury and we were hoping that he could win today, but I thought maybe he was looking for a little bit further.
“That wasn’t the case and he was very strong to the line.”
Destacado was having his third start for the Waugh stable, having been sidelined for more than 18 months with a tendon injury.
Waugh said his last start had been on the heavy at Hawkesbury, which he hadn’t handled.
“It was too wet, and he really struggled the whole race. He was dipping and diving and Nash came back and said forget the run.
“I was a little worried about his leg after Hawkesbury, but he pulled up great.
“We just keep stepping him up now while he’s coping well and then we will give him a little freshen up and go again.”
Destacado beat the Ron Quinton trained Deep Creek ($7.50), with the short-priced favourite Write On, third.
A dramatic finish to the TEAM THOROUGHBRED NSW MAIDEN with Jean Van Overmeire battling to stay on the wayward winner Overthink in the final stages of the 2100m race.
The So You Think gelding and $1.90 favourite hung in badly twice in the last 200m with Van Overmeire struggling to maintain his balance on the gelding.
Showing great horsemanship, he was able to regain his seat and steer the four-year-old to a two-length win.
Trainer Steve Englebrecht said he wasn’t surprised by Overthink’s antics.
“He’s a tough horse but he’s still a bit dumb and does some things wrong, but when the penny drops, I think he’ll be a handy horse,” he said.
“It was quite dramatic toward the finish. He’s well named because he does over think.
“He’s very green and has still got a lot to learn but I think he can be quite a reasonable horse when he puts it all together.”
Englebrecht said he expects the four-year-old to get over more ground.
“I think he will run a mile and half easy if he doesn’t go too hard. He’s pretty versatile too and can get over any sort of ground.
“’I’ll see how he pulls up, but I might give him a little holiday now and let him think about things.”
The Justin Bowen trained Avalene ($11) was second, with Anakin Skywalker ($4.40) from the Sargent stable, third.
Classy mare Aspect Ratio brought her Group 1 form to Wyong to score an impressive win in the 1600m TAB.COM.AU CLASS 1.
The Declaration Of War mare, was far from disgraced when racing in Group 1 company last preparation.
She has had two trials following a spell and resumed at Wyong on August 30 with a third behind Wild Chap over 1350m.
She appreciated the rise in distance to the mile and scored an impressive three- and three-quarter length win, with Sam Clipperton in the saddle.
Aspect Ratio ($9) jumped well and Clipperton was able to cross the field from the wide barrier and dictate terms throughout.
He drew away in the final stages to beat the $2.50 favourite Coco Baci with Let Me Think ($4.60) trained by Anthony Cummings, third.
Campbell Ashby, representing the Sargent stable, said they were confident leading into the race.
“We knew she would need a bit of luck from the tricky gate, but she had trained on good since her last start,” he said.
“For a filly getting over an Oaks trip last preparation we knew she would appreciate the extra ground.
“The plan wasn’t to be in front, but she jumped so well, and Sam got the sectionals just right.”
“The Sargent family own a good chunk of this horse and I’m sure they’d be happy.”
A great front running ride by apprentice Stacey Metcalfe secured victory for the locally trained Margie Bee.
The Kristen Buchanan trained mare was resuming from a spell in the GREAT NORTHERN ON ,TAP CONDITIONAL BENCHMARK 68 over 1100m.
Metcalfe was able to cross the field from the outside barrier and take an early lead which she maintained throughout to win by more than a length.
Buchanan sent the Dreamscape mare to the races without a trial, which proved to be a winning move.
“She’s good fresh and I didn’t trial her. She’s been working well at home and I thought why not bring her to the races,” Buchanan said.
“I thought traditionally her best runs are second and third up and she takes a run or two to get her fitness solid because she’s quite fierce in her racing pattern.
“But she was further ahead than I had thought today, and it was a beautiful ride by Stacey.
“The key to this horse is letting her be wherever she wants to be, just be comfortable and Stacey did that perfectly today.
“We’ll find another nice race for her and hopefully she’s even better third up.”
Margie Bee ($16) beat Destiny’s Son ($26), trained by Mark Newham, with Empress Bea ($9.50) from the Quinton stable, third.
An upset in the WYONGS NEXT RACEDAY THURSDAY OCTOBER 1 CLASS 1 with the Matthew Dunn trained Verbal Assault ($5.50) proving too strong for the short-priced race favourite.
The Deep Field gelding got the bob on the line to beat Bjorn Baker’s $1.30 favourite Belluci Babe and deprive the stable of a winning treble.
Brenton Avdulla, who brought up a double with the win, sat just behind the favourite for most of the race, peeling out in the final stages to win by a neck.
Keira Dunn said it was great to see the horse finally put it all together.
“He was great today and it’s so nice to see him race well,” she said.
“He’s been a long time in the making and does a few things wrong. It’s a big credit to everyone at home who ride him because they do a great job with him.
“The gelding procedure and taking our time with him this preparation and getting him to relax that’s the main thing.
“Matt doesn’t have any grand plans for him. We will just let him go through his grades and get him to relax.
“He’s doing everything right at this stage and it’s great to see.”
Already Blessed ($9) from the Portelli stable, was third.