Furrion (Image: Racing Photos)
Gifts from gleeful owners might not be too common these days but trainer Lindsey Smith did his darndest for rider Declan Bates to gain recognition for his winning ride aboard Furrion at Flemington on Saturday.
Bates' ride on the Gerry Ryan-owned Furrion made all the difference in winning the $135,000 ATA Celebrates Women Trainers Handicap (2000m) by a head from Dr Drill.
"I think Gerry (Ryan) might have to give him a new caravan for that one because the ride won the race," Smith quipped, referring to Ryan's ownership of Jayco Caravans.
"He (Bates) got off the favourite's (Vegas Knight) back at the right time. The leader (Tavirun) tried to stack them up and I think the leader collapsed a little bit. It was a good ride and it won the race.
WATCH: Furrion wins at Flemington
Bates explained his settling position behind Vegas Knight, just forward of midfield in the 13-horse field, enabled him to clinch victory.
"He (Vegas Knight) towed me into it, my horse was always travelling well but the opportunity came for me to come out into the three-wide line and I decided to take that up when it came because he likes to build into his races and he was always going to go close," Bates said.
"He quickened up nice at the top of the straight and the second horse (Dr Drill) came at me like he was going to go by me, but when he felt it coming, he did enough to hold it off. So it was pretty good."
Furrion, a British-bred son of Camelot, has won eight races, all in Australia, and his success at Flemington was his first since collecting the 2019 Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m).
His other wins had all been between 1300 and 1700 metres with black-type placings in the 2018 Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m), 2019 Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) and at his previous start when runner-up in the Listed Winter Championship Final (1600m).
"He hasn't won for a while, so it was good the competition (Dr Drill) was there to keep him going," Smith said.
"Horses do get confidence, that's a good thing for him. He has come from a long way back this horse.
"I'm just happy to get this out of the way. He likes the beach and we'll just keep him down there.
"There is another 2000-metre race at Moonee Valley coming up, I think we just savour the moment."