HATTRICKS might be the theme of the day for Ballarat stables at Moonee Valley today.
Robert Smerdon, Andrew Payne and Mick Kent all have runners chasing a third-consecutive win.
Smerdon has Pole Paradise in the $100,000 Emsley Lodge Handicap, 1600m, on the back of back-to-back wins at Geelong and Wangaratta.
While the three-year-old has had just three race starts, Smerdon has given Pole Paradise an extensive education with five trials since August.
Payne and Kent each have a runner going into the Melbourne Signage Concepts Handicap, 2040m, with two wins on end.
Payne has Just Reminiscing, which will get important weight relief with a 3kg claim by Harry Coffey dropping him to 56.5kg.
Payne has quickly found the key to this former New Zealander, which has raced four times for the Ballarat stable. The four-year-old’s wins have come at Echuca and Bendigo, and he steps up from 1600m.
Kent, who has a small team in Ballarat to complement his main Cranbourne base, has Vintage Lad coming off victories at Mornington and Kilmore. Smerdon also has Prince Stratum with the beginnings of a picket fence in the City Jeep Handicap, 1200m.
Prince Of Stratum has two wins in a row to his credit, at Caulfield and Moonee Valley, and despite being second emergency will get a run.
DARREN Weir will be looking to build on his lead in the Melbourne metropolitan trainers’ premiership at Moonee Valley today.
He increased his margin to four with a treble at Caulfield on Thursday – three-year-olds Rainbow Storm ($7) and So Hasty ($4.60), and ultra consistent Flying Hostess ($5 equal favourite).
This gives him 20 city-class wins for the season.
David Hayes, who has had almost 100 starters than Weir, and Peter Moody head the chase pack.
Weir believes Rainbow Storm, which is closely related to Melbourne Cup runner-up She’s Archie, is derby contender.
Weir has three starters at MV this afternoon – King Buddy and Our Hand Of Faith in the City Jeep Handicap, 1200m, and Prince Of Penzance in the Sportingbet Handicap, 1600m.
This will be the first start for Our Hand Of Faith in the Weir stable.
The former Sydney galloper has not raced since October last year, when he won his last three starts for Anthony Cummings.
Our Hand Of Faith has had chips removed from joints since he last raced and whatever he does is certain to improve.
BALLARAT trainer Charlie Quick produced his first winner at Nhill on Thursday.
Regaliti ($7) provided the breakthrough for Quick in a maiden, 1650m.
A four-year-old mare by imported mare Rakti, Regaliti had been unplaced in her previous eight starts, but showed a liking for making the pace.
Quick is only in his second season of training and the win coincided with his 50th runner.