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A winning treble on Bluff Cup day has continued an outstanding season for trainer Kirstin Barclay.
Stable star Only One Way continued his outstanding comeback from injury, cruising to victory in Barclay’s colours at Ascot Park on Monday, while He’s A Meister and Wattlebank Arnie gained deserved wins.
Barclay is now facing a conundrum with Only One Way.
The trainer has a very classy trotter in outstanding form on her hands. However, his racing opportunities are slim over winter but plentiful in the spring.
To counter the situation, Barclay is working on a plan for the next couple of months.
"I am struggling with that one at the moment. I just want to keep him ticking over rather than tipping him out and working him back up again.
"I am hoping to take him to Addington in a fortnight. There is a race in his rating up there.
"Then maybe I’ll just try to race him once a month to keep him ticking through."
Only One Way battles soreness in his hocks, which meant he raced just once in a two-year period before he joined Barclay’s stable.
Barclay has done an outstanding job resurrecting the trotter’s career and keeping him happy and sound.
That was evident when he strode out to win by two lengths with driver Mark Hurrell not having to reach for the earplugs.
The victory completed a double after Hurrell and Barclay combined to win race 3 with Wattlebank Arnie.
After running some big races in quality maiden fields, the 3yr-old ran a decent time to score a deserved win.
"It has surprised me that it has taken him so long to win one,’’ Barclay said.
"When he qualified, I thought he would be one that would put a couple together pretty quickly.
"But everything has gone against him and then he has made some silly mistakes.
"He is mentally pretty immature. He is going out for a spell and I think he will come back pretty nice."
Similarly, He’s A Meister gained a deserved win in Barclay’s colours in race 8 with Rory McIlwrick doing the steering.
"In his first start he finished seventh but he was actually hard up the back of them.
"Since then he has gone good every time and he deserved that win."
Monday’s treble took Barclay to 18 wins with just over five months of the new harness racing season completed.
The trainer has already eclipsed her 15 wins from the last extended harness racing season, which spanned 16 months.