GRAFTON trainer Felicity Firth knew she had picked up a bargain after buying Umatrick from Melbourne three years ago for $2000.
When the gelding saluted in the Ballina Pipeline Constructions Open Handicap (1200m) at Coffs Harbour yesterday afternoon, his prizemoney since joining Firth's stables had almost broken the $60,000 mark.
As any punter will tell you, that's a handy return on your outlay.
After carrying 57kg to an impressive last-start win at Grafton, Firth took advantage of apprentice Brett Poulus' two kilogram allowance after Umatrick was given 58kg for yesterday's race.
"I was pretty confident, especially because he had less weight than last start," Firth said.
"Brett rode it to a treat, that was exactly what I wanted him to do."
Coffs Harbour trainer Brett Dodson's topweight Corporate got the early jump, kicking out to a five length lead as the field swung for home.
But the Umatilla five year old flashed home on the fence, taking the lead at the 250 metre mark.
"I knew Corporate would go out hard and I wasn't worried at all," Firth said.
"(Umatrick) can run home in 33-33.5 seconds over the last 600m, so I knew he would be right."
Firth believes the best is yet to come from her gelding.
"I think he still has some improvement left," she said.
"He's grown up physically, but mentally he's still just a big kid.
"It's all a big game to him.
"The Umatilla breeds are seem to be very slow to mature.
"I think we will see his best next campaign."
Coffs Harbour trainer Warren Dean's Thespian Prince came from well back in the field to claim second, 1.25 lengths behind Umatrick, with Grafton six-year-old In Under There crossing third a further 1.25 lengths back.
n Results in tomorrow's Coffs Coast Advocate.