RACEGOERS were treated to an exciting four-horse dive to the winning post to get Monday's Bathurst RSL Club Soldier's Saddle meeting underway, where Seaside Sandy just got the nod over her rivals.
The Claire Lever-trained Seaside Sandy ($8.50, Winona Costin) took the lead at the top of the Tyers Park straight in the Kings Hotel Gold Nugget 2YO Handicap (1,100 metres) and had the legs to hold off her chasers.
Opito Ballerina ($4.80, Kayla Nisbet), First Grange ($9, Billy Cray) and Covalent ($2.80 favourite, Ashley Morgan) all finished within a length of Lever's winner.
It was a great debut run for the Real Impact filly who had finished last in her only trial earlier this month at Warwick Farm.
Costin said Monday's race panned out perfectly for her filly.
"I wasn't too sure at the end if we got there. I'm a pretty bad judge because I'm just throwing everything I can at the horse," she said.
"She's a really nice horse and going forward I think she'll win a lot more. I think she's got a bit of talent.
"I know the horse so Claire left things to me. We were always hoping to be positive but if things didn't pan out I was ready to go to plan B. We're very happy to see her get the win."
Dupont got away fastest from the barriers but Smart And Dapper moved ahead to take the lead and Seaside Sandy quickly moved in behind him.
Section Twenty moved up alongside the outside of the leader with favourite Covalent positioned well on Seaside Sandy's tail.
- READ MORE: Cameron Crockett thinks Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing's Soldier's Saddle is due for prize money increase
- READ ALSO: Dean Mirfin's got faith Whatsin can take it to her rival runners in Bathurst RSL Club Soldier's Saddle
- READ ALSO: Cameron Crockett to chase his second win in the annual Soldier's Saddle
Opito Ballerina had missed the start by a length but was working her way into the race on the turn for home.
Smart And Dapper and Section Twenty both faded out of the hunt at the top of the straight and Seaside Sandy took control of the race.
Covalent moved up to challenge her along the rail while First Grange worked well into the race down the centre of the track.
First Grange started to eat into the lead but Optio Ballerina was doing so at a much quicker rate down the outside.
At the 100m Covalent started to lose touch with Seaside Sandy but First Grange and Opito Ballerina were still catching up.
Seaside Sandy held on to win by a head over Opito Ballerina by a half head, with a further head back to First Grange.
Bathurst trainer Ashlee Grives celebrated success in the second race on the card when She's Super ($8, Grant Buckley) got the nod in a duel to the line over Miss Adrenalin ($3.10 favourite, Jess Taylor).
Gayna Williams was third with Art Angel ($6, Anthony Cavallo).
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: