Great Western trainer Peter Manning rarely leaves Laidlaw Park empty handed and he certainly wasn't about to on Stawell Pacing Cup Day.
Manning not only collected the Stawell Harness Racing Club Trainer of the Year prize on the night, he was also in the winner's circle with promising three year old Znana.
The son of Art Major was driven off the pace early by Manning's daughter Kerryn, as Bad Boy Hughie and popular pick Major Cruiser staged a battle for the early lead.
Manning had sat one out and four back for the first 1000 metres, before making a move with about 1400 metres to run. Racing outside the leader for the final lap, Znana hit the front in the back straight the last time, but quickly came under siege as Tabanan and Blackwarrior, two fresh horses on the scene, challenged.
It did appear as though Znana would relinquish the lead in the run home, but he managed to hold his rivals at bay for a gutsy one and a half metre win from Tabanan, with Blackwarrior a head away third.
Fellow Great Western trainer, Warren Bird, was also celebrating after Pacing Cup Day, landing a quinella in the Grampians Pharmacy Trotters Handicap.
Five year old mare Death Defying scored her third win this season, narrowly defeating stablemate Looks A Moral.
Death Defying stepped away well and always raced on the speed, with driver Greg Sugars edging her up outside the leader with a lap to run.
Kingston raider Snappy Pop had opened up a break in the back straight the last time, but Death Defying pounced and turning for home, had hit the front.
While the challenges came, Death Defying held on to win by a metre and a half from Looks A Moral, with Redcaviar running on strongly for third.
The win was Death Defying's third from four starts this season, with her only defeat being at Ballarat on November 8 when she finished four metres behind Earl Or Nothing.
Ararat trainer/driver Michael Bellman celebrated success at Stawell, with Witzend winning the Choices Flooring By Westside Pace Final.
Sent out an odds on popular pick, Witzend made light work of his rivals to record a runaway win.
The four year old scored by 14.8 metres from Saab Magic, with Sassy Man a metre away third.
The win continued a run of good form for Witzend, who won his previous start at Horsham.
A Horsham syndicate continues to celebrate with their pacer Metrofromelle making it two in a row at Stawell, when she won the Westway Nursery Vicbred Platinum Mares Spring Championship heat.
A last start winner of the Stan Anyon Memorial at Laidlaw Park, Metrofromelle was brilliantly rated by driver Matthew Craven to record a 2.6 metre win from Alina, with Arty Missy a half neck away third.
The win takes Metrofromelle's record this season to three wins and four placings from 10 starts.