THE Peter Maher-trained Minnesotta Hussle finally shrugged off some recent niggling issues to break through for a deserved win at Wodonga on Saturday.
Relishing the three-kilogram claim from talented apprentice Amanda Masters, Minnesotta Hussle ($5) pounced on the early lead from the inside barrier.
Once in front, Masters rated Minnesotta Hussle to perfection and quickly pinched a three-length break turning for home.
Minnesotta Hussle was never seriously threatened in the home straight and cruised to victory by almost two lengths over Strato Mostro ($3.70) and Leveraction ($5.50).
“Pete said he has had his fair share of issues with the horse but felt he had him pretty spot-on on Saturday,” Masters said.
“He was pretty confident about his chances.
“It ended up being an armchair ride.
“Once he found the front he just gave me a terrific feel and was always travelling like the winner.”
Minnesota Hussle has now won four races from 26-starts with 10 minor placings with Saturday’s victory the biggest so far of his career.
The son of Hussonet finished second at Albury at his two previous starts behind smart performers Tumbulgum and Ceccanti.
The Brett Cavanough-trained Ceccanti made it back-to-back wins with another win at yesterday’s Kilmore Cup meeting.
“He beat a couple of handy gallopers which is a promising sign,” she said.
“If Pete can keep the horse sound I can see no reason why he couldn’t pinch another couple of races this preparation.”
Wodonga trainers dominated the meet, claiming four of the seven races.
Recent stable addition Front Pew ($21) made a winning debut for the Sylvia Thompson stable after previously being prepared by Edenhope trainer Vicki Dishon.
Brian Cox (Leg Room) and Steve Aldridge (Little Jo) were also able to prepare winners on their home track.
Little Jo scored her seventh career win from start number 36.
The six-year-old mare has an affinity with her home track with five or her career victories at Wodonga.
Talented Leeton apprentice John Kissick continued his good recent form with a winning double aboard Chosen Mia and Leg Room.