IT was a day of firsts for Hunter trainers Andrew Macdonald and Aleacia Bennett across the Newcastle and Rosehill meetings on Saturday.
Singleton trainer Bennett scored her first city winner when Buddy Honest ($10) produced a bold front-running effort in the class 2 TAB Highway Handicap (1100 metres) at Rosehill.
The three-year-old Snippetson gelding and jockey Rachael Murray jumped to the front in race three from barrier 10 and controlled the tempo before kicking clear for a two-length win.
Buddy Honest was fourth in an identical race at Warwick Farm a week early and built off that run for a third win in 10 starts. It was his third attempt at a Highway Handicap.
The win comes three and a half year into Bennett’s training career and after just “a handful” of city starts.
“It’s my first win in town, so I’m pretty excited,” Bennett told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“He’s had a really easy week after last weekend, and he’s only really trotted all week, and I thought he was fine. He was jumping out of his skin on Sunday, so why not bring him back?
“I wouldn’t say [I was] overly confident, but I knew he’d come out and try and his little heart out because that’s what he does.”
At Newcastle, Macdonald had his first provincial winner when Kailenny swooped down the outside in race three, a 1400m maiden plate, to score by 1.2 lengths at $14.
It was also a first provincial winner for Singleton-based apprentice jockey Mikayla Weir, who broke through for her first city success last week at Warwick Farm aboard Todd Howlett’s Nic’s Vendetta.
Trainers Jason Deamer and Rod Ollerton were also winners at home.
Deamer had a double, taking out the class two handicap (1600m) with No Effort Needed, which is part-owned by former Knights players including Jarrod Mullen, and the last, a benchmark 65 handicap (1400m) with Buon Natale. Josh Adams rode both for Deamer.
Ollerton won with Mahboob in the class two handicap (1300m). Jeff Penza rode it to victory and Summer's Bird for Nick Mitchell.