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Local dual-licensed trainer Simone Walker enjoyed a successful day at the Pakenham Turf Club’s meeting on Monday afternoon when five-year-old gelding Thunder Pace saluted in the Ultrasigns Benchmark 58 over 1,200 metres.

Placed at its most recent start, Thunder Pace was well-supported in betting despite having to shoulder the top weight of 63.0kg with rider Brian Higgins in the saddle. The gelding justified punters’ confidence however and recorded a convincing win over Valentina Star from the powerful Maher-Eustace stable with outsider Fergus Magergus filling the minor placing.

Walker and her partner Andrew secured Thunder Pace for just $1,850 through an Ingliss Online Bloodstock auction some twelve months ago after the gelding had a moderate start to life as a member of the Gai Waterhouse team in Sydney.

“He had a few joint problems when we got him but we thought he was worth a punt”, Walker explained after the win. “Gai and her owners set high standards for their stable members and he had won a race or two so he wasn’t completely hopeless.”

“That was his second win for us today after he won on the synthetic at Pakenham in June.”

Walker has three thoroughbreds in work with another rising three-year-old set to resume work in the coming months. And her standardbred team currently numbers four including the smart three-year-old Dennis William, the consistent performer Reclusive who is engaged at Melton on Friday night and the enigmatic trotter Fend Off who is raced by the Cranbourne Club 21 syndicate.

“Dennis William might have a trial this weekend at Cranbourne and Fend Off isn’t far off after a small fracture to his knee ended his last campaign”, Walker said.

By David Scott

Photo: Racing Victoria

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