Perfect racing weather and a track in beautiful order greeting punters who were on track at Bunbury Turf Club on Sunday.
The first of the day, a dash of 1008 metres, saw three-year-old bay filly Bouncedown ($2.30) given the chance to atone for a last-start second to Salorsci over the same track.
Jockey Chris Parnham retained the ride and the pair didn’t disappoint. Jumping fast out of barrier two, the pair went straight for the rail and dictated the speed early.
Once around the bend, Parnham gave Bouncedown her head and she shot clear in the final 200 metres to record victory by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Scratchings made it hard to line up the form in the second of the day. Tenterden ($4.80) bowled to the front for jockey Peter Hall and fought off a strong challenge from Secret Assault to land the cash.
The hype on track was strong before the third with Hakuna Matata ($2.25) given one last chance by many punters to lift the maiden curse.
The five-year-old bay gelding had 18 starts on his record with six second placings but no wins. But that was all about to change.
Chris Parnham rode like a man in total control, happy to settle his mount in ninth down the straight the first time. By the time the distance field reached the 800 metres, he had worked up to fifth position and took the bend wide.
Up the straight the pair were safe and the connections must be pleased to have that monkey off their backs.
Apprentice jockey Clint Johnston-Porter surprised a few in race four when his ride Absolute Magic ($24) produced exactly that score by a short neck.
Just 10 cents separated Chin Strap ($3.80) and Vital Asset ($3.70) in the market for race five but on the line, the latter was three-quarters of a length clear.
Local jockey Lucy Warwick rewarded punters with a $16 place dividend aboard Cricket Inda House for anyone prepared to overlook his last two Bunbury runs.
Fellow Bunbury jockey Kyra Yuill scooped the prize in race six for local trainer Bruce Watkins. Diablerie ($2.50) stalked the early pace and shot away to score by three-quarters of a length.
Glenn Smith tried a similar tactic in race seven with short-priced first-starter Regal Class but leader Wings Of Hope ($5.40) refused to yield, clinging on by a short head.
Jockey Shaun McGruddy claimed the last with Awesome As ($8.90) while Couleur Bizarre again impressed on the Bunbury track finishing second at $7 the place.
Racing returns to Bunbury on Sunday, February 19.