Eight-year-old gelding White Hawk has been a great money-spinner for connections but not always a friend to punters.
He was the rank outsider in the $30,000 Golden Mile at Spreyton on Friday but stormed home to score by almost a length over Balearic and Queen La Diva.
His official starting price was $61 but he closed at $81 in the tab.com.au fixed-odds market and punters who took the 'best tote' option got $113.50.
It was White Hawk's first win since he took out the $50,000 Summer Cup at Elwick in January - when punters could have got as much as $151.
In between, he was placed in the Launceston Cup when he also touched $101 before starting at $61.
Two people who wouldn't be the least concerned by those statistics are sisters Mandy Gunn and Angela Brakey.
Gunn bred White Hawk from her 2011 Launceston Cup runner-up White Yard and races the Tough Speed gelding in partnership with Brakey, the former Sheffield trainer now based at Longford.
Brakey has prepared White Hawk throughout his successful career that has now netted 12 wins and $245,000 in stakes.
The Golden Mile was one of the biggest wins in Tasmania for Turkish jockey Mehmet Ulucinar who gave White Hawk a cosy run one-out and two-back.
He started to push the horse along before the home turn and was forced five wide at the top of the straight but White Hawk's staying ability told over the closing stages.
Balearic was given every chance by Daniel Ganderton but couldn't match the winner's finishing burst while Queen La Diva held on gamely after leading.
Easing favourite Assaranca ($3.20 to $4.20) never really raised her supporters' hopes while the heavily-backed Rising Light ($8 to $4.40) fought on well to finish sixth at his first test in open company.
Siggy Carr took riding honours at the meeting with four wins - on Rebel Factor, Divisor, The Beekeeper and Anacreon.
She also trains Divisior.
Rebel Factor overcame a check in the home straight to win the Class 1 Handicap, confirming the son of former top mare Rebel Bride as one of the state's up-and-coming horses.
The Shallows staked his claim for a second successive Tassie Golden Apple when he came off 30m to win the second heat at Mowbray on Friday night.
Trainer-driver Heath Woods was content to bowl along at the rear of the field before bringing the five-year-old with a well-timed run to beat Mister Gently and Deadly Assassin.
Victorian visitor Bullys Delight was backed from double-figure odds into $3.40 favourite but faded to finish fourth after leading.
The Shallows won last year's Golden Apple final off 10m before going on to win the Tasmania Cup after first-past-the-post Bullys Delight was relegated.
His 1:59.4 mile rate on Friday night was identical to that recorded by first heat winner Sunny Sanz after the allowance for The Shallows' handicap.
The Kent Rattray-trained Sunny Sanz flew the tapes to lead and, after copping mid-race pressure, fought on strongly to beat co-backmarkers Ryley Major and Lip Reader.
The $30,000 Gold Apple final is at Mowbray next Saturday night.
The meeting also featured the first three heats of the Youngbloods Challenge with the winners evenly spread.
Ryan Backhouse got home on favourite Velocity Stride; Bronte Miller won on outsider Joey Girl and Harrison Ross scored on $11 chance Sporty Ben.
The six-race series continues in Hobart on Sunday night.
1- YOUNGBLOODS HT1: 4.00f. Velcoity Stride (R Backhouse) 1, 9.50 Bold Centurian (M Ford) 2, 4.40 Ozzie Major (K Williams) 3. 1.1m, 0.3m. 2:01.7.
2- YOUNGBLOODS HT2: 20.00 Joey Girl (B Miller) 1, 6.50 Indianna Sanz (J Chibnall) 2, 19.00 Taxi Meter (L Older) 3. Nk, 3m. 2:03.7.
3- GOLDEN APPLE HT1: 6.50 Sunny Sanz (G Rattray) 1, 3.20 Ryley Major (C Crook) 2, 6.00 Lip Reader (T Hillier) 3. 2.6m, 3.3m. 1:59.4.
4- GOLDEN APPLE HT2: 8.00 The Shallows (H Woods) 1, 4.60 Mister Gently (G Rattray) 2, 11.00 Deadly Assassin (J Chibnall) 3. 3.5m, hd. 1:59.4.
5- YOUNGBLOODS HT3: 11.00 Sporty Ben (H Ross) 1, 6.50 Raffas Ace (B Miller) 2, 5.50 Aunty Bessy (R Backhouse) 3. Nk, 4m. 2:03.4.
Racing writer at The Examiner since 1978
Racing writer at The Examiner since 1978
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