HE'S been involved with the harness racing industry for more than three decades as an owner, trainer and a driver, and when Geoff Simpson hit a career milestone on Friday it came with one of his favourites.
As Castalong Shadow took out the Rosedale Gifts/Tech Plas Pace (1,730 metres) at the Bathurst Paceway, it took Simpson's tally of career wins as a trainer to 150.
"That's good to get, yes," a humble Simpson said of hitting the 150 mark.
Of all the horses who have won for Lithgow-based Simpson over the years, it's no surprise to hear that Castalong Shadow is 'absolutely' his favourite.
The Shadow Play x Leslie Jay gelding handed him the biggest win of his career in 2017 when taking out the Group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown Final, Castalong Shadow having also saluted at Albion Park, Penrith and Menangle.
"He's won some nice races, the Gold Crown and the Rod Fitzpatrick," he said.
"He's won $150,000, so he's done really well."
Twelve months earlier at the annual Oberon Community Race Night, Castalong Shadow had won the Oberon Cup with Justin Reynolds in the gig. Though not contesting the feature this year, the partnership worked just as well.
Reynolds settled the $2.70 favourite one out and one back after going from barrier two then with just over 800m to run, went hunting for the lead.
Reynolds guided Castalong Shadow three wide and with 150m to go he hit the front. While Lady Swiss ($8) kicked on the inside, Simpson's star did enough to win by 2.1m in a 1:58.3 mile rate.
"He likes Justin I think, I'll have to put him on all of them," Simpson laughed.
"He's pretty strong and he keeps battling on. Actually I lost him in the run, I couldn't see where he was, but my young Grandson told me 'He's still there'.
"So to win that was quite good."
It was the 15th time in 72 starts that Castalong Shadow had won for Simpson.