Ballarat or Caulfield – it doesn’t matter for Freshwater Storm when it comes to the Gold Nugget.
The ghostly grey galloper backed up his breakthrough victory in the feature race last year with a dominant display in winning it for a second-straight time on Saturday.
His win in 2015 was at the race’s traditional home in Ballarat, while the weekend’s success came at Caulfield.
Because of wet weather, the handicap’s 2016 edition was shifted from the Ballarat Turf Club to Geelong and finally Caulfield and its distance lifted from 1600m to 1700m.
Freshwater Storm, trained in Geelong by Tony Parker, delivered a knockout blow to punters when he saluted at a starting price of $51.
His victory was the first since that triumph last year and took his career record to 11 wins from 51 career starts for more than $350,000 in prizemoney.
The eight-year-old settled back in the early stages, before jockey Michael Walker navigated a run through the field and charged clear to score by two lengths on the line.
“He traveled beautiful, gave me a nice ride and coming to the straight it was a matter of getting the gap. Lucky I got through – if I didn’t it would have been a certainty beat,” Walker told racing.com straight after the race.
The BTC has moved three meetings during the spring to let its track recover from the weather, with racing set to return to the course on Tuesday, October 18.