REJUVENATED galloper Hillbilly Dancer extended his recent hot form with an impressive victory at Albury.
The Sylvia Thompson-trained gelding made it three wins from his past four starts when he upstaged a handy field of sprinters in the $15,000 Open Sprint (1175m) yesterday.
In a terrific training performance, Hillbilly Dancer was dropping back in distance after finishing second over 1400 metres last-start at Wagga.
“It was only a last-minute decision to start him in the race,” Thompson said.
“The grass track at Wodonga was closed so I thought I may as well send him around at Albury.
“Although he was coming back from 1400 metres I wasn’t really worried because he has been running quick sectionals.
“It was a satisfying victory because it was a fairly classy field and he was the only horse to come from back in the field and win on the day.”
The track heavily favoured pace runners with leaders winning six of the seven races on the card.
Hillbilly Dancer is now exempt from the ballot for the $50,000 City Handicap (1400m) over the first day of the Gold Cup carnival on March 21 and 22.
Thompson said Hillbilly Dancer was a likely starter.
“We will see how it pulls up but if I’m happy with the horse I would say that there is a fair chance he will go round,” she said.
Thompson and jockey James Geppert landed a double after Studious scored an all-the-way victory in the $15,000 Benchmark 65 Hcp (2000m).
It was the gelding’s third victory for Thompson since she replaced Donna Scott in October.
“We decided to have the horse gelded and he hasn’t put a foot wrong since the operation,” she said.
“It was his first win over 2000 metres and now I know he can do the trip it gives us a lot more options.
“If he pulls up all right he might also target a race over the Albury carnival.”
The Thompson stable also scored with Front Pew at Wodonga the previous Saturday.