SOMETIMES the biggest successes are the ones that are least expected.
For Sale trainer Andrew Murray, his first win in a metropolitan horse race came only hours after gaining a start.
Murray’s charge Sunday Escape won the $40,000 benchmark 78 handicap over 1100 metres at Caulfield on Saturday.
The four-year-old gelding was fourth emergency for the race, and was only a confirmed starter minutes before the cut-off time for scratchings at 7.30am.
Impressed by his eight placings from as many starts, punters soon jumped on Sunday Escape, cutting the price at the tote to $9 by the start of the race.
After settling on the speed, Sunday Escape, with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle, raced away at the top of the straight before holding on to win by three-quarters of a length.
It was Sunday Escape’s third win, with previous wins coming at Sale and Moe.
Thrilled and shocked by the first metro success, Murray was moved to tears.
“You’d expect it in a midweek meeting, not straight to Caulfield on a Saturday. I’ve probably jumped a few hurdles,” he said.
Murray was confident a city win would come for Sunday Escape, which last year had two second placings at Sandown behind horses who went on to more metro wins.
In his previous start, Sunday Escape came second in the Maffra Cup at Sale behind Pathways, who won its next two starts at Moonee Valley.
The son of veteran trainer Cliff Murray, Andrew is into his fifth season as a trainer. He is currently training four horses for his family.
Murray is looking to enter Sunday Escape to return to Caulfield on Saturday, May 2.