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Pacing Colt Revives Hard Luck Trainer

Published: January 6, 2014 12:52 pm ET

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Although his only horse was safe in a nearby paddock, trainer Ben Matthews nearly threw in the towel after he lost his barn and racing equipment in a fire a year and a half ago. But one colt changed his luck.

After being encouraged by his driver, Philip Maguire, to attend the Bathurst Gold Crown Sale, Matthews ended up buying the biggest winner of his career.

With the help of community fundraising and donations, Matthews purchased two-year-old Always A Virgin colt Rich Virgin for $7,000 and equipped him for a victory in the $25,000 Breeders Plate on New Year's Day at Lin Gordon Paceway in New South Wales.

"It was a sad day (the fire) but to come out and win the biggest race of the year in our home town was a happy day," Matthews told The Sydney Morning Herald.

(With files from The Sydney Morning Herald)

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