You won't see a bigger smile after a trots win than the one plastered across Kellie Munro's face on Friday night in Parkes.
This was far more than just a win in a feature heat.
Munro's father, Bathurst trainer Michael Munro, is laid up with a fractured pelvis after a scary race fall in Bathurst a couple of weeks ago and when The Girls Have It ($11) crossed the line first in the second heat of the Gilgandra Windmill Parkes to Dubbo Series, it was a very popular victory.
Full of adrenaline, energy and one gigantic grin after the race, Munro said the win was a special one for the whole family.
"It's just a bit of a reward to know what we're doing while Dad is on the sideline is the right thing," she said.
"She's the only one we have racing in the stable at the moment...so I'm just glad we can do it for Dad."
After drawing on the outside of the front row, the Million Dollar Cam x Barberry Jewell mare showed impressive gate speed to cross and find a spot on the shoulder of Western Ways ($21).
Munro pressed go on the back straight, with Ideal Denny ($3), driven by Mat Rue, breathing down her neck, but the mare found a good kick to hold on for a 4.7 metre victory in 2:00.9.
Andy Cassell runner, the Parkes-trained Lou Cee ($5.50), finished a further five metres back to round out the placings after a game run.
It was a mightily impressive win for The Girls Have It ahead of the $8400 final in Dubbo on November 27, and Munro thinks her mare is hitting form at the perfect time.
"She loves this track...I knew when we got that spot we'd be hard to beat...she loves being the attacker," she said.
"She's perfectly peaking for the final.
"She thought she had 'em beat at the turn, she dropped the bit and thought she'd walk to the line but when Mat's (Rue) horse (Ideal Denny) came a bit closer she saw him and picked the bit up again and worked to the line really well.
"We've just got our eyes on the final now, and hopefully we can bring it home," said Munro.
It was a long time between drinks for the five-year-old mare, who last saluted in Bathurst on May 13 in 2020 - though she was pretty impressive as a filly, winning the Group 2 Gold Bracelet in 2019 at the remarkable odds of $61 with father Michael in the gig.
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Munro said it was just a case of growing up for the mare.
"She was a good two-year-old, but she had a few bad habits so we sent her for a spell," she said.
"She came back and had a good three-year-old career, winning a Group 2 race and then plateaued for a little while but she's come back this year a little bigger.
"She used to be a weedy little thing who couldn't hold her condition but she's bigger and just loves what she does now, which makes our job so much easier.
"It's just a maturity thing," said Munro.
The mare is certainly primed for the final on the back of this win, and a 7.1 metre second in Bathurst on November 3, which Munro said was just due to a lack of fitness.
"She had a nice run last start in Bathurst, but was probably a bit underdone," said Munro, who is certainly now full of confidence they'll be in the mix for next week's final.
And what a story it would be if she gets the chocolates.
Get well soon, Michael!
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