Bolwarra trainer-driver Geoff Dorn would love to have a few more like Mista Taptoe Lombo.
In his 170th start on Saturday night, the nine-year-old gelding gave Dorn his first Glenn Tomlin Memorial win in the combination's sixth consecutive shot at the series at Newcastle Paceway.
Dorn and his $26 chance made the most of a trouble-free midfield sit, finding space on the home turn to grind out a half-neck win.
"You've got to get the right runs and everything worked out in our favour," Dorn said. "Even though we drew the second row, it actually turned out he got the luck and the spot. They ran even time, and he likes it when they run along hard, so everything fell into place."
The win took Mista Taptoe Lombo's earnings to $106,658.
"He's not a top horse but he's been a good horse to us," Dorn said. "He's won over $100,000, over a fair few years, but you'd like to have two or three like him in the stable. I bought him at the end of his three-year-old year and we didn't pay much.
"He's won a country series final and had 170 starts, so that shows what sort of horse he is. He can go around each week, he comes home and eats up and it doesn't worry him, and those are the types you like."
The $8480 final, which is restricted to local participants, also gave the winning trainer a new sulky. It was the 22nd running of the event held in honour of Glenn Tomlin, who died in 1997 in a training accident.
"It was good to win the race for Bill and Pam [Tomlin]," Dorn said of Glenn's parents.
"It's great of them to put the race on in the memory of Glenn, and it's one of the races you like to compete in and try to win.
"It's good prizemoney and good prizes. The gig is worth another race as well. It's a privilege to get in the race and win, because I know Pam and Bill and they are good people."
Keinbah trainer Roy Roots jnr and Morisset driver Jack Callaghan started the meeting with a winning double. Pitch Perfect made it back-to-back victories to begin its Australian career, clocking a slick 1:54:5, before Glengarry Rose won easily.
Medowie trainer Anthony Priestley scored a late double with Ponderosa Bigz and Ponderosa Andrew.