ROD Ollerton is never afraid to go outside the norm to get a winner, especially when he’s chasing one at his home carnival.
So when Ollerton believed Hand It In needed another run to prepare for the 2200-metre benchmark handicap at Scone on Saturday, he had no worries about putting him in at Newcastle four days earlier over 1500m.
Not only did the four-year-old cruise to an almost three-length win on Saturday in the $100,000 race, he picked up a bonus victory in the $30,000 benchmark 65 at Newcastle – at odds of $26 and $31 respectively.
Hand It In is owned by Ollerton, who grew up in Scone and is now based in Newcastle, and good mate Tony Price.
“I’d planned to do it and he came through the run on Tuesday really well so I didn’t have much hesitation in backing him up,” Ollerton said. “I hadn’t backed him up like that before but he has won over 2300 before so I was reasonably confident he would run the trip out.
”I had an opinion of him early on and ran him in a couple of good races but he was a bit immature, mentally more than anything, but now he’s getting older, he’s starting to come to it.”
He said the Scone race was always the target for Hand It In, which has now won four times in 19 starts and $119,820 in stakes.
“He’d only had the one run back from a spell and I just thought he needed another going into it and the hit-out at Newcastle was only going to benefit him,” he said.
“He was just a bit below par first-up but obviously that Newcastle run switched him on and tightened him up and he was obviously right then.
“I always try to have a few runners at [the Scone carnival], but they are hard to win because the carnival is getting stronger all the time. So it’s good to get one up.”