After a couple of recent seconds at Flemington, five-year-old Jester Halo has broken through in town to give Darren Kolpin his first Melbourne winner as a trainer.
The victory of the lightly raced five-year-old mare in Saturday’s Michael McMahon Plate (1400m) at Caulfield was a thrill for Kolpin, who trains six horses and also works as the track manager at Hamilton racecourse in country Victoria.
Kolpin said it was a deserved win for the mare who was runner-up in her previous two starts at Flemington this month after drawing wide.
“I was sick of running second but it was our turn today,” Kolpin said.
“All we needed was a barrier draw. She’s been three wide with no cover both times at Flemington and fought on really courageously there.
“But today, she (Christine Puls) rode her a treat.
Kolpin had never had a runner at Caulfield.
“I’ve had 15 city winners in Adelaide but this is my first Melbourne winner,” he said.
“About 12 months ago I shifted over (from South Australia) and took over the job as track manager at Hamilton.”
He had previously been track manager at Mt Gambier, where he also trained, while he is also a former jockey.
Jester Halo ($3.20 favourite) defeated Sharing by three-quarters of a length with the same margin to leader Mamzelle Tess third.
It was the mare’s sixth career victory from 13 starts and Kolpin might raise the bar and throw the mare in the deep end against some of the country’s elite gallopers at Caulfield in two weeks.
“We might have a sneaky nomination for the CF Orr Stakes,” he said.