Muswellbrook duo Mikayla Weir and Todd Howlett taste success at Manning Valley Race Club meeting

A BAND of owners linked to Taree's Coastline Credit Union, local trainer Tony Ball and Muswellbrook jockey Mikayla Weir had plenty to celebrate with the win of Senatorial ($2.80) at Manning Valley Race Club's meeting at Taree on Monday.

Firstly, many of the owners were experiencing their first win in their first racehorse, Ball was happy to have his four-year-old gelding register its first win at start 17, and Weir turned 26.

So, there was plenty of cheering and smiling faces to greet the just under a length win by Senatorial over the $2.70 favourite Hidden Hills, trained at Wyong by Kim Waugh, in the Taree Races Monday 20 January Maiden Handicap over 1600m.

"It is a great thrill for the owners from work with their first racehorse," said Jeff Haisall from the Coastline Credit Union.

And, you couldn't take the smile off Weir's face after finally getting the win after four rides on the gelding.

Ball believes Senatorial was only just working towards his task and will be better over middle distances.

It was another big day for the Newcastle stable of Kris Lees with three winners and jockeys Andrew Gibbons with three and Louise Day with a double.

One of Day's wins was on handy three-year-old filly Iconic Star ($2.50) for Lees which in leading all the way and scoring by 1.5 lengths set a new class record for 1000m in the Iron Jack Class 3 Handicap.

Day said of the win: "Just too good."

Newcastle filly Xiaoli's Ying ($5.50), trained by David Atkins, held on for second after two previous wins, with the well-backed Taree gelding Fair Dinkum ($2.70), trained by Ross Stitt, just under a length back in third.

Lees stable foreman Kieran Forbes said of Iconic Star: " A good effort first up from a spell...she gave them the slip halfway down the straight."

Stitt's Oh So Hot ($8.50) showed she was on song with ambitions of winning the $150,000 heat of the Country Championships over 1400m at Taree on February 23 with a solid just under a length second to filly Siesta Key ($3.30), trained by Lees and ridden by Gibbons in the Kennards Hire Class 2 Handicap over 1300m.

Oh So Hot made up good ground after her winkers were removed for the first time.

Lees and Gibbons were also successful with four-year-old mare Azarmin ($2.90) which was reserved for this meeting and scored by a neck in the XXXX Gold Class 2 Handicap over 1600m.

Forbes said Azarmin was "solid", was looking for more ground, and was "ridden a treat".

Gibbons picked up Aaron Bullock's (no show) ride on filly Sophie's Lass ($2.70) in the Saxbys Soft Drinks Maiden Handicap over 1000m and had a neck win for Muswellbrook trainer Todd Howlett.

Howlett said his filly was "little and light" but had been unlucky not to win at its previous start at Taree when fourth.

Coffs Harbour gelding So Shy ($7.50), trained by Aiden St Vincent and ridden by Rachael Murray, scored first-up from a spell by a half-length in the TAB Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1250m.

It was the gelding's fourth win at start nine and is being aimed at the Northern Rivers heat of the Country Championships.

Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan only had one starter at the meeting in first starter three-year-old gelding Paavo, ridden by Day, and it scored by just under a length in leading all the way at $17 in the De Bortoli Wines Maiden Plate over 1250m.