SEVERAL of the region's top trainers enjoyed success at Gunnedah's first-ever Cox Plate Day race meeting on Saturday.
The meeting had been relocated to Gunnedah after the track at Armidale had been deemed unsuitable for racing.
Tamworth trainers Zach Hatch, Sue Grills, Craig Martin, Kootingal's Michelle Fleming all tasted victory, as did Moree's Peter Sinclair.
Grills was the first of the local trainers to taste success, with the five-year-old April's Dream claiming the second race of the day.
Grills said the mare had raced well on debut at Scone, but then disappointed at Gunnedah next time around.
"She'd run a good race at Scone, but then I don't know what happened here last start," Grills said.
"That was much better."
Grills said she will keep April's Dream "in that grade" for the immediate future, while hoping the win will end a horror week.
She had stable-star Burning Crown scratched at the barrier in Sydney last Saturday, and then during the week, Melanie Bolwell was badly injured in a track accident when the horse she was working for Grills reared over on her, breaking her pelvis and fracturing her right ankle.
Then Grills had to sit through a raft of wide barriers for her runners at Scone (Friday), Gunnedah (Saturday) and Coonabarabran (Sunday).
Hatch was the next local trainer to taste victory after Kensington Kid lived up to his short-priced favorite status in race three.
The five-year-old gelding was purchased by his older brother Lonnie and his partner Katy Scott for just $2000.
Since heading north the gelding son of Your Song has run placings at Armidale, Gunnedah, Bundarra and Inverell.
"He's been knocking on the door," Zach Hatch said.
"We gave him a good spell too.
"[He] had a few little problems and had six months out.
"He's been a different horse since he came back in."
Michelle Fleming then kept the winning run for the local trainers going by claiming the quinella in race four.
Babbinboon Boy broke through for its first win of the year, closely followed by Dan Roy in second.
The gelding had not won for its owners since claiming it's maiden win in December last year.
Co-owner Dave Bastable said the horse had been a real handful since that maiden win in Armidale.
"He's been a terribly hard horse to train," Bastable said.
"She's [Fleming] done a wonderful job with him."
Martin then capped things off with a victory for Lookin' Alive in the fifth event of the day.
Martin said entering the seven-year-old gelding in the race was a last minute decision.
"Only put him in the late noms," Martin said.
"I was going to trial him.
"He was a bit underdone too but done the job."