STAWELL - Ararat-trained The Mighty Jungle finally notched up his maiden win, leading all the way to take out the 1600 metre Boronia Peak Villas Maiden Plate at Stawell on Tuesday.
With jockey Dean Yendall in the saddle for trainer Leah Rogers, The Mighty Jungle held the lead by about a length for the majority of the race before being challenged in the straight by favourite Fast Entry.
The pair battled their way to the line, with The Mighty Jungle scoring by a half head in front of fast finishing Barbara Marshman-trained Highway Robber and Fast Entry settled for third.
It was the gelding's first win from 13 starts.
Jockey Dean Yendall said after the race that The Mighty Jungle was still green, but added that the five year old dug deep and it was a good effort in the end.
"It was a pretty good win," he said.
A shorter race and a five week freshen up contributed to Testaman's maiden win in the 1100 metre DML Security Management Maiden Plate.
Trained by Swan Hill's Jane Matheson and with Harry Coffey in the saddle, Testaman (like The Mighty Jungle before him) led the entire way to cross the line a length in front of Darren Weir-trained Swoosh.
Part-owner of Testaman, Ron Munro was thrilled with the win and praised the performance of Harry Coffey.
"He rode it perfectly," Mr Munro said.
"His (Testaman's) first couple of runs were alright, but he didn't do too well over the 1600."
It was just Testaman's fifth start for Jane Matheson after crossing from Darren Weir's stable.
Since joining Matheson, the gelding has recorded a second and third placing in 1000 and 1400 metre races before winning on Tuesday.
The third maiden for the afternoon went to Stuart Webb-trained Gridhian, who won the 1300 metre Schubert Catering Maiden Plate.
There was a minor delay to this race with one of the favourites, Terry and Karina O'Sullivan-trained galloper Stoking, having to be scratched after cutting his leg in the barriers.
Jackie Beriman climbed aboard Gridhian in just his fifth start and was able to steer the gelding off the fence at the right time to gain a clear run. Beriman took the four year old into the race and he finished strongly to record a thrilling short half head win.
Beriman was pleased with Gridhian's performance, saying he drew a good gate and was switched on.