Scott Collings is fast becoming synonymous with Saturday TAB Highway Handicaps.
The Goulburn trainer recently prepared Ten Bells to win two TAB Highways at Royal Randwick, with the Nicconi mare emerging victorious in the 1100m Class Two Handicap on August 21 and again in the 1100m Class Three on October 16.
Racing again at Royal Randwick on Saturday, London Gal gave Collings his third win in the $100,000 country-trained race since August, with the four-year-old mare getting home to win the 1000m Class Three Handicap.
London Gal won in a head-bobbing finish from the Danny Williams-trained, Shelby Sixtysix, while the fast-finishing Casino Lord for Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan finished third.
The Goulburn-trained mare was ridden by Tim Clark, and the pair went forward from gate six, racing alongside Mandalong Superb in the early stages, before holding on for the gamest of wins.
“It was a good fighting win,” Collings said after the race.
“I was surprised that she had the speed to lead them.”
The Sizzling mare was coming off a good win at Gundagai in heavy nine conditions and ran into a heavy eight surface at Randwick.
“We didn’t realise that she liked the wet as much as she did until we took her to Gundagai,” Collings said.
“Obviously she has come out and proven it again today.”
Collings said his stable took their time when picking out the right horses for these TAB Highway Handicaps.
“We sort through them, and we don’t try and bring them down here too early,” Collings said.
“I did that a couple of weeks ago and got burnt. I’ve learned something from that.”
The Goulburn stable has been flying of late, and Collings admitted the upcoming South East Country Championships qualifier at Nowra on February 13 was on Ten Bell’s agenda.
“She is back in work now,” Collings said.
“She will probably have a nice easy trial before the end of the month, but yeah, she is on target for the Country Championships.”