FIRST: Holly McKechnie rides Casino Wizard to victory in the 1300-metre Grampians Halls Gap Cup. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWIMMERA jockey HollyMcKechnie had a successfulday at the GrampiansHalls Gap Cup on Friday,winning two races.
Nanjing Night Net

McKechnie rode four-year-oldgelding CasinoWizard to victory in the1300-metre GrampiansHalls Gap Cup.

McKechnie started fromthe second gate and got offto a quick start beforesettling for fourth placealong the barrier.

At the 800-metre markshe briefly dropped a fewplaces before surginghome to win by one and ahalf lengths.

McKechnie also won the1300-metre Halls Gap LakesideTourist Park threeyear-oldmaiden plate.

She rode Ballet Time, athree-year-old filly trainedby Horsham’s Paul Preusker,to victory after startingfrom the sixth barrier.

Stawell’s Terry andKarina O’Sullivan trained VihannaVictory finishedin sixth spot in the race.

The O’Sullivans had asuccessful home race, withtwo victories, a second, athird and a fourth.

Stawell Racing Club operationsmanager PennyPenfold said the weatherheld off just enough for theraces to finish.

‘‘Quite literally after wefinished the last race of theday it started coming downquite heavily,’’ she said.

‘‘The track held up reallywell, but with the showersthe track rating changedfrom good to soft later inthe day.

‘‘We didn’t receive anyrain overnight, it seemedto completely miss theracecourse even though itwas raining in other areasnearby.’’

Ms Penfold said she waspleased with how the eventturned out and confirmedthe meeting would be hostedagain in 2016.

‘‘I think the weatherprobably kept a few peopleaway but we still had about400 people and we arehappy with that,’’ she said.

‘‘The entertainmentproved to be a hit and Ithink the free entry attracteda few more people aswell.’’

In other races, jockeyJack Hill rode six-year-oldmare Must You Go to victoryin the 1600-metreKookaburra Motor Lodge0-58 Handicap.

New Zealand-born BossaNova was ridden byChelsea Hall to victory inthe 1300-metre Lake FyansHoliday Park 0-58 Handicap.

Golden Perfume finishedsecond in the MixxFM Maiden Plate, andPatche ran third in theNorthernGrampians ShireCouncil Maiden Plate.

Majestic Duke, ridden byMcKechnie, finishedfourth in The Views RestaurantBM64 Handicap.

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