Veteran Elmore harness racing trainer Neville Welsh is recovering from surgery but received a tonic on Tuesday night when talented trotter Est Est Est won the second heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for two-year-old fillies at Bendigo.
Bred and raced by Melbourne accountant Graham Mulhall, Est Est Est was given a lovely passage from pole by reinsman Clinton Welsh, trailing Hard Done By, which pinged out to lead from outside the front row.
Using the sprint lane, Est Est Est gained the judge’s verdict by a nose over the pacemaker, with All The Way Mae third.
Junortoun part-owner, trainer and driver Gary Donaldson landed the third heat with well-bred Sunson/Skye Rocket filly Donski on debut.
Moving to be one-one at the bell after beginning slowly from inside the second line, Donski ran home well to defeat leader Sheza Amason by a neck with All Under Control third in a rate of 2:09.6.
Marong’s Jason Donohue made a long-awaited return to the winners’ list when Allies Mate, a four-year-old gelding by McArdle out of Mon Repos, scored in the All Seasons Hotel Bendigo Pace over 1650m on debut.
Trained and driven by Donohue, who is also a part-owner, Allies Mate enjoyed a sweet trip one-one from gate four with the hot favourite Kept Under Wraps leading from gate two.
Easing three-wide on the final bend, Allies Mate – at odds of $53.50 – bloused the leader by a half-head in a rate of 1:56.7, with Real Character a neck away third after trailing the pacemaker and using the sprint lane to no avail.