Veteran trainers Joe Byrne and Vern Brockman must have derived great satisfaction from the May 25 meeting at Belmont.
Byrne scored with Darci Time while Brockman took more money to the bank with Red Mercedes – a car he can afford to purchase thanks to his in-form galloper who lumped 59kg to victory in making it four wins from his last starts.
Both gallopers were ridden by the Tassie Tiger, Glenn Smith, who finished off the day, in the last two races, with maximum results.
In describing his crock-turned-good, Byrne said the paddock, not the box, was a key to his revival.
At one stage Darci-Time had been the victim of flesh eating bacteria that attacked a fetlock joint. The problem continued for six months and Byrne thought he was going to lose the then two year old.
Surgery (twice) and treatment saw him survive but he continued to be a ‘crippled crock’ in a stall environment.
Byrne now has him in a five acre paddock so he runs around and is much happier according to the trainer.
Vern Brockman confirmed Red Mercedes was going for a spell after the miler specialist fought out a duel with Flag Officer to score by a long neck. Verdello Blue was third.
Red Mercedes has had 11 starts this campaign which commenced in December.
Although trainer Fred Kersley won the sixth race with Operational it was a jockey that had ‘undergone the knife’ that narrowly beat him in the second race.
Mitchell Pateman on Swap Ya prevailed by a short head over Northpace to give the apprentice a welcome return to racing after constant knee problems and surgery. He only returned to riding in trials on May 13.
Pateman had some anxious moments on the turn, when momentarily blocked for a run, but the opening came and he managed to ensure that the Jason Pateman trained filly won one for the family.
So, ‘in a day for the crocks’ Darci Time and Mitch Pateman turned adversity into triumph.