STAWELL trainer Dane Smith notched up another country feature race when Robe Bay won the $25,000 Mortlake Cup on Sunday.
Robe Bay, with Jack Hill in the saddle, defeated Nordic Symphony by a length with Tarquin back in third place in the main race on the nine race program.
Smith has previously trained the winners of the Colac, Penshurst, Avoca and Edenhope Cups.
The cup was put back 40 minutes after stewards and jockeys inspected a section of the track around the 600-metre mark after Atum nearly fell in that area in the previous race.
Track staff worked on the area before stewards and jockeys gave the all clear for the meeting to continue.
Smith gave credit to Robe Bay's former trainer Peter Hardacre after the four-year-old mare won the 2000-metre race.
"Peter has done a great job with Robe Bay but she's had a couple of barrier problems," he said."We're sorting out the barrier issues. I think if we can get over them she could measure up to a city class mare.
"She's got a lot of ability. She's only had the eight starts and has won four races. Her four runs for us have resulted in two wins.
"The first one was at Coleraine and then we probably set the bar too high running in $100,000 races at Murtoa and Horsham before winning the Mortlake Cup.
MAKING NEWS ACROSS THE NORTHERN GRAMPIANS:
"She appreciated getting out to the 2000 metres. I think she may go out a bit further in distance and she's already shown that she appreciates a bit of give in the ground.
"It was a great ride by Jack. He's rode her to the two wins for us.He's an underrated jockey.
"We may enter Robe Bay in the Ararat Cup next Sunday before looking at the Dunkeld Cup but we'll just wait and see how she comes out of today's race before finalising anything."
The win took Robe Bay's stake earnings to more than $85,000.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.