It was another golden day in Wanganui for Franklin trainer Geoff Small with his second victory in the Schnapps Bar National Park Wanganui Cup.
Shardon's Operator, driven by David Butcher, powered away to the post in the 2600m handicap pace yesterday afternoon on the grass at the Wanganui Racecourse.
For the Patamahoe-based Small, the cup was his fourth victory of the day.
"We've had a good week," he said of his charges.
"He's a good stayer, the result we were hoping for.
"He went a bit better than I thought talking to David and he said he wasn't on the bit too much."
As would be expected the field for the feature race was dominated by Franklin and Waikato- based stables, the teams of which had been on the road since 5am to attend the meeting.
Tuakau's Liquidity was the early bolter and held the advantage through the first run past the grandstand, followed by Cambridge's Naenae Tabman and Pukekohe's Millview Sarah.
The Peter Scaife-trained Kilarney Guy from Foxton made a move along the back straight, while Millview Sarah and Naenae Tabman jockeyed for position as the field closed up.
But come the final dash Shardon's Operator clearly had the wood on the rest, powering away to win by a length from Millview Sarah, followed by Kilarney Guy. The feature served as the start of the Northern Country Cup Series on grass tracks around the North Island.