Promising stayer, Mr Lightning showed his liking for travel when he blitzed his rivals by a whopping nine and a half lengths at Ballina on Monday. This was the second time trainer Herne has headed over the border to the Northern Rivers with the horse and the second time he has won with ease having previously won in similar fashion at Lismore.

“I don’t mind the travel if they are going to perform like this”, said Herne.

“It’s more to do with having some give in the track really. The Northern Rivers always gets more rain than we do in Brisbane so when nominating to come this way it’s usually because you’re chasing a rain affected track. This bloke doesn’t really need a wet track though, he just needs some give in it.”

This is the first preparation with the Herne stable having previously raced around Newcastle winning one race from 18 starts.

“He came to me after having two starts this prep down south and we found out early on that he is a free running horse that likes to bowl along and he’s really only had three starts for me over the right distance for two wins with the other run being at Rockhampton where the track was rock hard and he just won’t stretch out on those sort of tracks”, said Herne.

The seven year old’s impressive win was aided by a smart front running ride by underrated jockey Ben Looker who dictated from the front and slowly widened the gap over the 1900m journey at each opportunity before putting the foot down in the straight and gapping the field.

Mr Lightning is one of several stayers in the Herne stable at the moment and its a trend he hopes to keep.

“I enjoy training stayers, it can be a real challenge working out what training regime works for each individual and its very rewarding once you find the key to them.”

Photos courtesy Trackside Photography