Wesley Vale trainer Glenn Stevenson brought up his 100th win in the narrowest fashion when Exclusive Saturday scored in the Benchmark 58 Handicap at Spreyton on Sunday.
The finish was so close that no-one was overly surprised when a dead-heat was posted on the semaphore board.
However it turned out to be a mistake which was quickly corrected.
Exclusive Saturday had actually won outright, beating George’s Gambol by a nose.
It was the six-year-old’s first win in five starts for Stevenson but he had been getting progressively closer and had only gone down in a photo-finish at his previous start.
“His biggest problem is that he is very one-paced,” the trainer said.
“But he sticks on well so I think I might try him at a mile.”
Brendon McCoull gave Exclusive Saturday a soft run behind the leader Ponzi and he looked the likely winner turning for home.
But he was immediately challenged by George’s Gambol who loomed three wide and the duo went head and head for most of the home straight.
Raced by his breeder Vu Tu and Amanda Lockett, Exclusive Saturday has had numerous stable changes during his career but remains lightly raced for his age.
The win was his third from only 20 starts.
BRAVE IN DEFEAT
Stevenson was in Melbourne on Saturday with stable star I’m Wesley who ran a close fourth in the $200,000 Bobby Lewis Quality at Flemington.
“I was very happy with his effort,” the trainer said.
“He’s been beaten 0.8 lengths and they’ve run 1:09.8 into a gale.
I was very happy with his effort - he’s been beaten 0.8 lengths and they’ve run 1:09.8 into a galeTrainer Glenn Stevenson on stable star I'm Wesley
“They’ve come home the last 600m in a tick over 33 seconds.”
Jockey Craig Newitt said I’m Wesley held his ground bravely after racing on the pace but couldn’t quite quicken when required.
Stevenson agreed and suggested the gelding would be better suited in a faster-run race where he could sit off the pace and sprint home.
I’m Wesley will have his next start in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington in three weeks.
Trainer Barry Campbell and jockeys Craig Newitt and Anthony Darmanin all finished with doubles at the final meeting of the Spreyton winter carnival.