Ballarat-based Mason scores a win at Caulfield

JIM Mason had a rare distinction at Caulfield on Saturday.

The Ballarat-based Mason was the day’s only winning trainer on track.

All the other trainers of winners were on the Gold Coast preparing for the Magic Magic Millions Yearling Sales – a situation not lost on Mason.

“There’s a reason why I’m here and they’re up there,” he told AAP.

“It’s not by choice.”

Snow Cover ($15) ended a six-month run of outs on metropolitan tracks for Mason in the Swettenham Stud Summer Championship six heat, 1600m. It is a reward for Mason’s patience and faith.

“His first three runs this time in were pretty ordinary,” Mason said.

Snow Cover had shown glimpses of ability in stakes races, but all but one of his previous five wins had been over moderate company on country tracks.

“He’s been close up in some good races,” he said.

“But I’d have to say this is a relief.”

Snow Cover camped on the solid pace set by The New Boy ($4.40), finishing the stronger to win by a long head. Dayita ($10) plodded into third place 1-3/4 lengths further away.

Meanwhile, when you’re hot, you’re hot.

Dan O’Sullivan’s Ballarat stable certainly is – and it has nothing to do with the heatwave sweeping across southern Australia.

Fresh from a double with Tuscan Fire and British General at Flemington on New Year’s Day, O’Sullivan almost caused a boil over with Beer Garden getting within a length of winning at big odds at Caulfield on Saturday.

O’Sullivan did not have to wait long for his next win though, with Jungle Fighter ($10) producing possibly the best run of career to take out a 0-68 handicap, 2234m, at Warrnambool yesterday – coming from the back of the field, giving the five-year-old six wins in 28 starts for $70,000 in stakes.

It has also been a big week for owner Chris Willey, with wins by two discards purchased in August. Chewing Steel opened his account at Burumbeet on Tuesday and then the seasoned Red Colossus ($9) upset Darren Weir’s Hurdy Gurdy Man in the $35,000 Koroit Cup, 1700m, at Warrnambool yesterday.

This was one of several near misses on the day for Weir, who had to settle for one win – My Option in the 0-62 handicap,1000m.

AMATEUR jockey Joseph Cunningham landed his first double at Dederang picnics on Saturday.

An ex-St Patrick’s College student and son of Ballarat horseman and former jockey Steve Cunningham, he had had only a handful rides in an interrupted stint in the saddle.

He has had only four rides for three wins and a second.

Cunningham’s first win came at Yea in December, 2011.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

- with AAP

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