Mick Cerchi took Benalla by storm last week when he saddled two winners in the eight-race meeting.
One of them, Canelo, with Thomas Stockdale aboard, took out the $20000 Royal Hotel Benalla BM64 Handicap over 1206m.
A win Cerchi expected, even if punters were a little less certain, with the six-year-old gelding paying $8.20 on Supertab.
‘‘He was a good thing beaten in the Weary Dunlop at the previous meeting here,’’ the Flemington-based trainer said.
‘‘He had a bad start, but was right up with a quality field at the finish, so with a bit of luck I knew he was always going to run well on the day.
‘‘He is a pretty good horse and is always thereabouts.
‘‘Anywhere around 1000-1200m he is always a chance and he is due to run at Kyneton on Wednesday (today) and if he pulls up okay will go around again at the weekend and after that we will have a look at him because I don’t think he will have that much more left in him this preparation.’’
After a strong win in the $22000 Specsavers Benalla Maiden Plate Cerchi’s horse King Kohei has now been set for a start at Cranbourne’s next twilight meeting.
Cerchi said it was a good way to break his maiden, with the four-year-old gelding now having a win and a third from seven starts.
While he did not have a runner in town yesterday Cerchi has Sadaqa entered for Saturday’s Emirates Airline Handicap over 1400m on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes day.
‘‘This will be the fifth year in a row we have had a starter in the Melbourne Cup carnival,’’ Cerchi said.
Matt Cumani is also making the region his home away from home.
His horse Ryan’s Fender, ridden by Daniel Moor, took out the $22000 CA Sinclair Pork Wholesalers SV Maiden Plate over 2046m.
And was so happy with the win he already has Ryan’s Fender set for Donald on November 19.
His Benalla win set up a big week for the Ballarat-based trainer was two days before landing a second successive double at Seymour on the Thursday.
There he saddled Marchesa in the $25000 Kelly’s Country Homes 3YO Fillies Maiden Plate over 1411m with jockey Jordan Childs crossing the line a length ahead of the field.
Before sending out Golden Authority in the last of the day – the $25000 ClassicBet Handicap over 1600m — to score a massive win with the best of the rest six lengths adrift.
He also has two starters over the famous 3200m on Tuesday, just not in the Melbourne Cup.
Instead Missy Zippy and Mr Coyne will be at the barrier in the $20000 Moama Bowling Club Handicap.
‘‘But we do have one nominated for the Queen Elizabeth at Flemington on Saturday, so we have high hopes of a big moment in the Melbourne Cup carnival week,’’ Cumani said.