Birthday celebrations start early for Toowoomba trainer

IT was a double celebration for Toowoomba trainer Wayne Nugent at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday.

Nugent celebrated his birthday along with Inka Dinka Doo ($3.50) taking out the $15, 000 Benchmark 65 (2260m).

The five-year-old mare finished in front of Desert Harry ($11) by a head with Kingston Time ($11) a-length-and-half back in third.

"It was a big step-up to see how she would go today against some horses that have had quite a few wins," Nugent said.

"It was a big step-up in journey too and she's come through it with a positive run.

"She just has that turn of foot where she can get out and sprint home really well.

"If you get her in the right rhythm she'll always finish off a race.

Inka Dinka Doo has placed in its last five starts including a win over 2150m at Toowoomba in September.

Expect to see more of Nugent and the horse on the Northern Rivers.

"She's thriving at the moment and we've been prepared to travel with her," he said.

"You have to chase the races when they're coming and I think she'll only go better on the bigger tracks.

"She's probably lucky we don't live a bit closer otherwise we might have gone to Grafton last week as well."

It was also the first time jockey Brooke Stower had raced at Ballina yesterday.

"She's a really tough horse," Stower said.

"I didn't want to go too hard early but once she hits that line she runs through it."

Earlier, Ballina trainer Andrew Pilling had a win with six-year-old gelding Mathieson Lane ($3.50).

Mathieson Lane won the Mulcahy Lawyers four-year-old maiden handicap (1005m).

There is plenty of racing this week with the non-TAB meeting at Murwillumbah today before a TAB meeting at Grafton tomorrow.

Tabulam also has its annual non-TAB meeting on Saturday.

There is another TAB meeting at Ballina Friday week.

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