It's been a long time between drinks at the winners' bar on a city track for Mornington trainer Kelvin Southey.
The win of Laughing Heir in Wednesday's Mypunter.com.au Handicap at Sandown was his first city success in 14 years.
It was almost to the week since Southey saddled Chloe With Class to win a 1000m mares' race at Moonee Valley in 2014.
With only a small team to work with, Southey doesn't make it to town that often and estimates you could count on one hand the number of starters he's had in the metropolitan area over the past two years.
"I won a Pakenham Cup in 2010 but even that horse wasn't good enough for metro level," Southey said.
"A good horse is hard to get especially when you're a little battling trainer.
"I've got eight to ten in most of the time and do most of the work myself, so in that regard I don't want too many.
"It's hard work but it's rewarding on days like this."
Laughing Heir, under Jamie Mott, was sent off the $4.40 favourite in beating Buena Veloz ($7.50) by 1-1/2 lengths with Carak ($8.50) a half-length away third.
Southey will consider giving the gelding one more start before sending Laughing Heir out for a break and aiming him towards the spring.
Not that he's aiming too high, more at the country cups, and the slightly lesser-profile ones at that.
"I think the Kyneton or Moe Cups are his sort of level," Southey said.
"He's had a bit of a chequered prep.
"At the start he didn't pull up too well after his first-up run and then he got on a bog track, but his last couple were much better efforts.
"His run the other day in the VOBIS Gold race was great.
"He was at level weights against Kiwia and Self Sense and he would have been meeting them much better at the weights in a handicap, but the prize money was too good to refuse."
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