Matthew McGuren went within half-a-length of riding four from four at Kempsey on Monday, but it was still a good day at the office for the 33-year-old, who booted home another winning treble.
Riding for his wife and up-and-coming trainer, Samantha McGuren, Matt kicked off his day by taking on the $30,000 Country Boosted Maiden Plate with $1.70 favourite Tosen Dreamer.
The pair commenced nicely from gate eight and settled one out and one back before turning for home and finishing strongly.
Still, the bird had flown, and the Glen Hodges-trained Thought Crime (Luke Rolls, $21) capitalised on a good lead, holding on for the win.
A race later, McGuren got one back over Rolls and was in the winner’s circle when helping the Brett Dodson-trained Kevin McKeen ($2.30) to a thrilling victory in the 1000m Maiden Plate.
Using gate one to perfection, McGuren took the Coffs Harbour-trained debutant to the front, and the pair held on to win by a nostril from the Dwayne Schmidt-trained Romi (Luke Rolls, $5).
Matt was in the good books with his better half after race six, with the pair combining to win the 1250m Country Boosted Class One Handicap with Roman Rebel ($3.20).
Despite starting from gate nine of eleven, McGuren went forward on the four-year-old and was able to find the rail and get a nice sit in behind the early leader, Jeune Dreamon (Peter Graham, $21), from the Julie Lynch yard.
After turning for home, Roman Rebel charged home and won by more than a length from a game Jeune Dreamon, which hung on for second.
Rounding out his excellent day at the races, McGuren scored the 855th win of his career, teaming up with veteran trainer John Shelton, who prepared the 862nd of his career, when Another Spirit won the 1000m Benchmark 66 Handicap.
Despite starting a $21 chance and the second roughest in the five-furlong sprint, Another Spirit was too good, and McGuren’s ride made all the difference.
After jumping well, the pair raced midfield before peeling three-wide on the Kempsey home straight and finishing strongly to edge out the Allan Kehoe-trained Bottom Bar (Ray Spokes, $8) by a long neck.
Spokes wouldn’t be left out of the winner’s circle after he won the first on the program, guiding the Brad Munro-trained Irish Knight ($6) to a game win in the 1900m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Two in-form apprentices also enjoyed success on the Kempsey seven-race card.
Courtney Bellamy teamed up with Taree trainer Ross Stitt when winning the 1250m Maiden Handicap with Soozie Maree ($9.50).
A race later, Mollie Fitzgerald helped John Shelton to the first of his two wins, guiding Cassia Lane ($16) to an impressive victory in the 1450m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Racing in the Northern Rivers returns at Lismore on Friday before the Mid North Coast meeting at Taree on Sunday.