By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
HOT favourite Grouchie Pattern just did what he needed to do in chalking up his 13th career win in the Ferguson Park feature race on Saturday.
The eight-year-old Bundaberg galloper justified his painfully short $1.30 odds with a display that was as efficient as it was classy.
Favourite backers may have been a bit worried at the turn when Green Jacket was ahead, but jockey Wayne Schmidt never panicked and eased the topweight to the winning post with style.
The margin of two and a half lengths was a credit to Green Jacket, while Lord Tizer was over 10 lengths behind the winner in third.
There was little doubt, the best win of the day came from the Class A handicap winner, Much Loved.
An Emerald winner two starts back, you would have got any old odds at the 800m mark when Much Loved was eight lengths behind the leader.
But with the leaders setting a great tempo, it set the race up for Much Loved who with talented apprentice Luke Dillon in control hit the front down the straight to win by a long neck.
Sparkling Ascot finished a brave second, while Another Tune got home for third.
Gladstone trainer Lee Kiernan was a happy man in the winner's circle after a drought-breaking win for his gelding Errol Street.
Errol Street may have started as one of the outsiders in the Maiden Plate (race one), but he didn't run like it.
Hoop Nathan Evans had Errol Street well-placed behind the leaders early and with a welltimed burst was able to hit the front and win by half a length.
Connections were rapt as the five-year-old chalked up career win number one in his 20th start.
First starter Dusty Road was an eye-catcher, but couldn't hunt the winner down, while Bonalear put in a big performance for third.
Racecaller Dan Saville was one of the happiest men on the course when his best bet, Craiglea Knight saluted the winning post in the Class 3 handicap (race two).
A noted dirt track runner, the Bundaberg five-year-old relished the surface to win as Another Princess and Newsworld rounded out the placings.
Danatina gave trainer Angela Stephens a rare winning double when she greeted the judge in the last, the Class 4 handicap. The next meeting at Ferguson Park is on Melbourne Cup day, on Tuesday, November 1.