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A year of frustrations were at least temporarily forgotten when Lovely Bundy caused an upset at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The talented but problematic mare took out the night’s $25,000 feature trot with a superb front-running performance in the hands of James Stormont.
It was her first win in 16 starts and since the same meeting last year.
Co-trainer Peter Blanchard, who trains the eight-year-old along with his son, Vaughan, says it has been a never-ending list of problems with her.
“She had an injury that required a minor operation about this time last year.
“Then when we got her back in the summer she was just plagued by seasonal problems.
“Honestly, I’ve never seen a mare so badly effected by it as her.”
For Blanchard, the 1990 Premiership winner and a veteran of 665 winners, that is quite a declaration.
“But we always remained hopeful that if we hung in there until the winter, we would see the best of her again.
“She won three races this time last year and a couple the winter before that, too.”
That wasn’t the end of the tribulations, though.
“We thought we had her back and ready to start winning again but then her blood was out.
“Just another problem we’ve had to deal with that makes this win all the more satisfying.”
It ticked off a few milestones for horse and trainer, too.
The win was the 50th for Vaughan Blanchard, and the father-and-son partnership, and it also put Lovely Bundy in to the revered company of being a $100,000 earnby
According to Blanchard, her breeder and owner, Reporoa’s Dan Magill, deserves a lot of credit for his patience.
“Dan has been brilliant and I’m so happy for him.
“It’s been a long 12 months for all of us and I know he will be thrilled to have gotten this win tonight.
“And in a $25,000 race, too.”
After a modest effort at Cambridge last time, punters were prepared to risk Lovely Bundy in a strong field that included the likes of Sunny Glenis, Sertorius and C K Spur and she started at better than $24 on the tote.
But at least one of her trainers kept the faith.
“I thought if she could get to the front and run along at 3.30 speed that she might be a chance
“And that proved to be the case.”
Lovely Bundy will likely have a few more starts yet, but a broodmare career beckons for the daughter of Love You.
“I’m pretty sure that she’ll be bred this coming season.
“We’ll have to sit down with Dan and have that conversation but I think that’s her immediate future holds.”