Prominent Wellington trainers Cecil Maxwell and Garry McCarney both missed out on having any winners at the Mudgee Race Club on Sunday.
Mr Maxwell’s gelding Lucky Striker came in fifth in the Club Mudgee Benchmark 65 Handicap (1100 metres).
Mr McCarney’s mare Great Body ran sixth in the Oriental Hotel Maiden Handicap (1400 metres) and Tall Trees came in nineth in the Mudgee Dragons 4YO+ Maiden Plate (1200 metres).
Cameron Crockett on the other hand had a the best possible start on his home track, managing two wins in the first two races.
The Mudgee trainer’s good fortune kicked off with Mar Nero (Rachael Murray, $2.10 favourite) as the six-year-old mare scored a come-from behind win in the Woolpack Hotel Benchmark 60 Handicap (2000 metres).
That was quickly followed by a handy 1.8-length win by the gelding Ori On Fire (Greg Ryan, $2.00 favourite) in the Federal Hotel 3YO Maiden Plate (1200 metres).
Speaking to Sky Thoroughbred Racing after his race two, Crockett praised the Benfica x Are You Ready gelding, but lamented running him at Cessnock’s Wine Country Race Club the week before.
“I probably made a mistake last week, I didn’t take into account that the little horse is not really seasoned.
“The trip to Cessnock was probably a bad idea in hindsight. I think it took its toll on him.
“He was a little bit flat walking around the enclosure.”
Despite the misstep, Crockett said he had known Ori On Fire would get the win in Mudgee, and told jockey Greg Ryan as much.
Ori On Fire jumped quickly from barrier two and moved to the front before dropping behind Snipex Abaa (Rachael Murray, $4.20) and Auntie Shirl (Bobby El-Issa, $61).
But the gelding held on along the rail and as the pack rounded the turn into the home straight, he made his move.
He pulled away from the pack in the final 200 metres to win ahead of the Geoff O’Brien-trained Snipex Abaa and Peter Stanley’s Catcha Crown (Paul King, $17).
“His mother was a very good horse,” Crockett said of Ori On Fire.
“We never saw the best of her because she bled, unfortunately … and unfortunately she’s been a fairly, a bad breeder.
“[Ori On Fire] is Are You Sure’s brother so hopefully he might be as good.”
Dubbo trainer Darren Hyde also enjoyed victory with The Renovation Man (Greg Ryan, $7.00) taking out the Mudgee Dragons 4YO+ Maiden Plate (1200 metres).
The 2017 Country Championships qualifiyng events will begin in Grafton this Sunday.