A BALMY autumn day greeted the return of racing at Greenwattle Racecourse on Tuesday.
In the first meeting following a two-month track renovation, the feature event, race seven, was the fillies and mares benchmark 78 handicap, carrying $30,000 prize money.
The winner, Volcanic Eruption, ridden by Daniel Stackhouse and trained at Caulfield by Clinton McDonald, won at Moe on December 9 but was coming off a last start last at Sandown. The four-year-old mare has four wins and four placings from only 15 starts.
Second-placed Carerista, ridden by Craig Williams, was coming off a last start win at Ballarat, and third-placed Chiavari, ridden by Ryan Moloney, was fourth at Flemington last start.
The first event, the maiden plate, was won by first starter Diapason, trained at Flemington by Chris Waller and ridden by Craig Newitt.
Dinner Lake, trained by Graham Begg and ridden by Jake Noonan, won race two, the three-year-old maiden plate.
Trained at Sale by Ian Hutchins, Toorak Belle, ridden by Patrick Moloney, won race three, the fillies and mares maiden plate. It was the first win for Toorak Belle, coming off a last start second at Pakenham.
Torreggiante, trained at Flemington by Leon and Troy Corstens, won the race four maiden plate.
Race five, the benchmark 58 handicap, was won by Panda Eyes, trained at Cranbourne by Greg Hayes and ridden by Ethan Brown.
Ben Thompson, who is leading the apprentices’ premiership ladder at Sale, won race six, the Rising Stars Series benchmark 64 handicap, on Singleraine, who is trained by Clinton McDonald at Caulfield. The four-year-old mare has been racing well, with a second at Sandown followed by a last start third at Pakenham.
Night Sight, trained by Pat Carey at Mornington and ridden by Jack Martin, won the final event, the benchmark 64 handicap. The lightly-raced five-year-old mare has been impressive, with two wins and three placings from eight starts.
The next meeting at Greenwattle will be on Wednesday, May 17.