Rookie trainer Jamie Kirk landed the first double of his fledgling harness racing career at his home town track on Cranbourne Cup night.
The consistent five-year-old Rakajed (A Rocknroll Dance) made it three wins from his past six starts when he led all the way in the Mark Gurry & Associates Pace.
Rakajed ($3.20) appeared to be headed in the home straight by Dance Away, but he refused to yield and fought back to score by half a head in a mile rate of 1:54.8 for the flying mile sprint trip.
Kirk wasn't surprised Rakajed came again in the home stretch.
"I don't train him over a mile so he was just getting warmed up in the straight, Jodi had trouble pulling him up after the line," Kirk said.
Kirk's memorable night was made complete when the four-year-old mare Our Chiquitita (Captaintreacherous) made a successful long awaited debut on the race track.
With George Batsakis in the sulky, Our Chiquitita mustered sufficient early speed to hold the lead from the pole while the $1.95 Albalou was restrained back to last in the seven horse field.
Our Chiquitita ($16) was allowed a 31.9 second quarter 'breather' over the 1609 metre trip and when Batsakis asked her for more effort on straightening she bounded away to score by six metres from Yering Soho.
Kirk admitted there were times when he doubted Our Chiquitita would make the race track.
"She trialled brilliantly as a two-year-old and then suffered a hairline fracture in her pastern and then she broke down again 12 months later as a three-year-old with the same injury," he said.
"I thought a few times that she would never race, anyway I put her back into work in November and it was the last roll of the dice."
Kirk said he issued Batsakis with the instructions to hold the lead.
"I told George that I have faith in this mare and that if she can hold the lead then she'll be fine because I knew she had the speed," he said.
Kirk, who combines training a team of three horses with operating a fire protection business, admitted he didn't head to Cranbourne harbouring any thoughts of registering a double.
"Never in a million years did I think I would be training my first double on Cranbourne Cup night," he said.