Agun gifts Matt Craven magical milestone amid Melton double

Prominent horseman Matthew Craven launched Saturday night's Melton meeting in style, notching his 1000th win in the sulky when he scored behind Heza Son Of Agun in the Allied Express Pace.

Matthew Craven.
Matthew Craven. Picture: HRV

A Group 1 winner as a two and three-year-old, Heza Son Of Agun ($51) turned back the clock when he grabbed District Attorney on the line to get up and score by a short half head in a mile rate of 1:53.4.

The 39-year-old Craven was pleased the son of Art Major was able to break a 12-month drought at Melton.

"It's nice to get a win back in town with him, he's been a lovely little horse for us and to get him back into the winner's stall is very pleasing," Craven said.

He said it took the entire length of the home straight to reel in District Attorney.

"Around the circle he just dropped me for a few strides and it took a little bit to wind him up and even when he got to the outside he really had to work and dig deep to the line, full credit to him and hopefully he will just keep getting better every time he comes to the races," he said.

"He did a lot of racing at two, three and four and we were lucky enough to give him a nice break."

Later in the night the lightly raced Young Bluey ($2.30 fav) completed a double for Craven when he careered away from his rivals in the straight to score from La Belle Bijoux and Beach Hopper.

"We might have just needed to get that 1000th win out of the way, when everyone else talks about it each week it puts a bit of pressure on," he said.

"This horse needs things to go his way but we were lucky enough to get out at the right time and he got home really well.

"While he is still learning a little bit, he is racing a lot kinder than he was his first couple of starts back and that will be the key to him going forward, if he can turn into a lovely little race horse then tucked away he's always going to run a nice race."

Favorite backers headed for the bar after the Aldebaran Park Vulcan Trotters Free For All, where the $1.40 favorite Ollivici held on the score by a short half head from the fast finishing Sebastians Boy.

The Chris Lang and Sonia Mahar trained Olllivici worked to the lead with a lap to go and appeared set for a comfortable victory before Sebastians Boy charged home late along the sprint lane.

Lang conceded the finish proved closer than he would have liked.

"It's never easy in these races where the 1720 metres brings all the horses into the race, the longer races are made for the ones with a bit more ability," Lang said.

"I thought that 50 metres from the line that they just weren't going to catch me but it obviously got a lot closer than it was supposed to, but all you can do is win, which is what he did."

Lang dismissed any immediate future travel plans with the son of Orlando Vici.

"We're going to make hay while the sun shines, so we are staying here," he said. "We are just going to keep him here for the free for alls and try to make the most of the fact that the four big guns aren't going to be racing at Melton for a little while."