Seymour trainer Barry Goodwin is on a roll — he has had five winners from his last 10 starts at tracks around Victoria.
At Benalla on Sunday, in blazing 40°C heat, his four-year-old gelding Reggae Roc broke its maiden at its sixth career start, winning the $23000 Landmark Benalla Plate over 1406m.
Moving across quickly from barrier seven after the field jumped, jockey Jarrod Fry latched onto pacemaker Miss Forbidden and followed it to about the 800m mark.
At which point he started to move alongside and as the field swung for home Fry and Reggae Roc stole a break on the chasers.
It appeared to be all over but the shouting when the grey Life in Manhattan finally got going and was storming down the middle of the track.
Reggae Roc’s two-length buffer vanished in a flash but he hung on to win by a half neck.
A relieved Goodwin said he had considered Life in Manhattan the only horse to worry about — and he was right.
He said the win was down to Fry’s great ride and timing, opening a two-length gap as they straightened and making him the one to catch.
‘‘Life in Manhattan also seemed to take a long time winding up once it got into the clear and that helped too,’’ Goodwin said.
The win was Reggae Roc’s first and while Goodwin is confident the gelding will go as far as 1600m he said he was still a ‘‘pretty immature’’ horse.
‘‘He ran well today — it was good to see him jump and travel so well, he really turned it all around — and we were pretty confident he would win and while he was getting a bit tired by the line that’s okay, he will keep improving,’’ Goodwin said.
‘‘It was also Jarrod’s first race ride on him, although he has done a few jump outs with him,’’ he said.
‘‘Jarrod also won on La Rita for us at Kyneton last Wednesday, so he is doing a good job for the stable.’’
Next up for Reggae Roc is a bit of a freshener in the paddock for four or five weeks.
Then Goodwin said he would see about a winter campaign.
‘‘Until we see him run on some soft tracks we can’t be sure how he will go so it’s just a matter of wait and see.’’