BALLARAT stables celebrated the Australia Day weekend in the best possible way with successful hit-run visits to tracks across the state.
Charles Quick kept his upbeat summer going at Yarra Valley, where Nui Dat ($31) took out a maiden, 1205m, on Sunday.
The four-year-old had raced just the once before, failing to handle heavy going in Ballarat in June.
This was a much different outcome after being taken to the front by Nikkita Beriman.
Nui Dat gives Quick three wins all up, with the other two coming with Regaliti at Nhill on Boxing Day and Burrumbeet on New Year’s Day.
JIM Mason and Graeme Hicks bobbed up with a win each at Hanging Rock on Sunday.
Mason produced Wild Sands ($2.60 favourite) in a maiden, 1600m.
The Stratum four-year-old was well overdue, having had four seconds and four thirds in 13 starts up to the breakthrough.
Tortured ($8) scored for Hicks in a 0-58 handicap, 1000m, bumping up the six-year-old’s earnings close to $25,000 from three wins in 27 starts.
MARK Lewis rounded out Australia Day by saddling up Reel Way ($6) for a win in a 0-64 handicap, 1010m at Werribee.
Appreciating a drop in class from metropolitan company, Reel Way came from near the back of the field to draw away by more than a length.
The six-year-old has always been kept relatively fresh by Lewis with short racing campaigns, resulting in having just the 17 starts for three wins and $60,000 in earnings.
SHAY Brown and Andrew Payne grabbed their opportunities at Great Western on Saturday.
Brown won with the well-named Jeune seven-year-old Jeunelism ($7) in a 0-58 handicap, 1600m.
Jeunelism was having only his second start for Brown, having been previously trained by Gary Bridges after starting his career with David Hayes.
Payne saddled up Cash After Dark ($2.20 favourite) to land the money in a maiden, 1850m.