Toompine may have been described as a problem galloper last year, but he has put his issues behind him this campaign.

The lightly raced five-year-old returned to winning form when resuming at Ballarat on Monday he charged home from last to land the Hygain Winners Choice BM64 ((1000m) in emphatic fashion.

It has been a pleasing change of fortune for Toompine who last campaign needed to improve his barrier manners and was sidelined for several months after developing a splint.

Trainer Vincent Malady said a couple of winning trials this preparation buoyed the stable confidence that the son of War was back on track, rewarding the patience of his owners John and Helen McPhee who bred the gelding.

“He did quite well in a couple of runs last preparation but was a bit fractious at times in the gates,” Vincent said.

He said a barrier blanket seemed to help Toompine, but just as he was looking to race on last spring, he developed a splint.

Despite the enforced spell, Toompine has lost none of his competitiveness this campaign.

“Last month he trialled very well, winning at Colac and most recently at Terang where he won in fast time, and he took that form to the races at Ballarat,” Vincent said.

Ridden by Mitch Aitken, Toompine ($4.40) raced keenly when restrained to the rear of the field and was still well back after making a wide run around the home turn before unwinding a strong finishing burst in the middle of the track.

With the race won at 100 metres, he was under hands and heels riding in the closing stages beating eight-time winner A Good Yarn ($9) and Lady of Light ($3.70) by nearly a length.

“He’s a neat, little horse with a good attitude and hopefully he be a competitive in 64-class midweeks now,” Vincent said.



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