He got hammered down the back straight so it was a good effortDriver Rohan Hillier
East Devonport owner Mick Maxfield's decision to bring handy pacer Blingittothemax home from Queensland paid an immediate dividend at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
The seven-year-old put up a tough performance to win the Rating 63-70 Pace and give Maxfield and trainer Paul Ashwood an early double.
It continued a good day for the owner, as his star youngster Max Delight was earlier named Australian three-year-old of the year.
Blingittothemax had his only previous start in Tasmania as a two-year-old when he won at Devonport in March 2015.
He has spent most of his racing life in Queensland where he won another six races at Albion Park.
Rohan Hillier, who drove the gelding on Wednesday night, believes he can add a few more wins to that record.
"He's a horse with gate speed who makes his own luck and, the grade that he's in now, I'm pretty sure he'll win another three or four pretty quickly," Hillier said.
Blingittothemax worked to the lead from barrier four but didn't get much peace and looked under pressure on the home turn.
"But I hadn't pulled the plugs at that stage and Skip (Ashwood) did tell me he waits for them a bit," Hillier said.
"Once he got balanced, he came up the straight pretty good.
"He had to run the gate and he got hammered down the back straight so it was a good effort."
FORCED TO WORK
Ashwood's earlier winner Miracle Marcus also put up a tough performance in the Rating 52-56 Pace after facing the breeze.
Driver Hannah Van Dongen went forward from barrier six but found herself caught three and four wide for some distance.
"I was forced to do a lot more work than I thought I would have to," Van Dongen said.
"But he went massive. Despite all the work, he still travelled strongly to the line and got the job done."
It was the eighth win for Miracle Marcus and the fifth time he's been successful in the 1609m-1680m distance range.
AWAY AND HOME
Blingittothemax's win also completed an early driving double for Rohan Hillier who scored a dominant win on former Kiwi four-year-old Awayandrideyourself in the Rating 56-62 Pace.
Hillier went forward from barrier 7 to find the death and, although he appeared to switch off late, the long odds-on favourite got home by 2.5m over the fast-finishing Believe In Forever.
"He settled well in the breeze and only had to dash up the straight," the driver said.
Awayandrideyourself won one race in New Zealand and has now won six here as well as being placed in the Tasmanian Derby and Guineas.
Despite that good record, Hillier hasn't mapped out anything too ambitious for the gelding.
"He's not the best traveller in the world so we'll stick to Mowbray for a while and just race him here once a fortnight," the trainer said.
Hillier doesn't anticipate driving the horse too often in the future.
One of his part-owners is leading claiming junior driver Conor Crook.
"Conor will drive him all the time from now on regardless of whether he can use his claim - I've got to keep him happy," the trainer said.
Well-bred five-year-old Ideal Karalta broke through for his first win for 10 months in the Rating 30-49 Pace.
The Kent Rattray-trained gelding was well backed on the strength of a 2:01 trial win at Carrick 11 days earlier and ran the same time again.
John Walters drove aggressively from the second row to find the death and said he would have been disappointed had Ideal Karalta not been equal to the task.
"I thought if he couldn't sit in the breeze and beat that field, I didn't know where he was going to win another race," Walters said.
"It's been a while since he won but he's been a bit sore here and there and Kent has had to look after him."
Mystic Journey has drawn barrier 10 for the $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Although it's not a particularly bad draw, it's still wide enough to prompt tab.com.au to ease her odds from $2.10 to $2.25.
Memsie Stakes winner Scales Of Justice, who has drawn next to her in barrier 9, has firmed from $5.50 to $4.80.
They are the only two runners under double-figure odds.
I'm Wesley has drawn barrier 10 for the $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality down the 'straight six'.
Former Tasmanian apprentice Raquel Clark will ride Dalasan in the $200,000 Danehill Stakes.
Dalasan is $3.40 favourite for the group 2 race and $6.50 favourite for next month's $2 million Caulfield Guineas.
STILL A FLY-IN
Trainer Adam Trinder has abandoned thoughts of leaving Mystic Journey in Melbourne after the Makybe Diva.
Trinder told racing.com this week that the mare would continue to be based at Spreyton and fly-in for each spring assignment.
"We had been seriously considering leaving her in Victoria ... but she was just a bit too buzzy and electric when she came over for the P B Lawrence," Trinder said.
"I think it's best for her to stay in Tasmania and keep coming over less than 48 hours before each run.
"We're staying with the formula we know works at least until the Cox Plate - 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'."