“He’s won $1.29 million in prizemoney now. It’s probably as good a feeling as I’ve had getting a winner.
“I was pulled over on the side of the [road] coming back from the races, watching it on the phone. I’m just very happy for the owners and more so for the horse.
“He won’t be a champion to many but he is a champion to us.”
Brunton said he had little option but to put the horse in Payne’s name if he wanted to run him in Victoria.
“We left [Melbourne] last Tuesday and of course the situation arose with the closure of borders and the two weeks where you have to self-isolate, so I said to Paddy, from a business point it’s unethical [to race him in my name],” Brunton said.
“We’ve been mates since we were kids so at the end of the day, he’s always helped me out and brought a few horses over and likewise.
“We were trying to get him into the trials last Tuesday at Kyneton and it was going to be hard for me to nominate him from over here to be able to go into the trials, I think they [Racing Victoria] would have taken a dim view on that, so we changed names.”
The Bendigo feature was Hellova Street’s 11th black type win and Brunton said he hoped to press on towards a group 3 mile race in Adelaide.
Meanwhile, Riddle Me That claimed his maiden stakes victory in the listed Bendigo Guineas under in-form jockey Daniel Stackhouse.
The three-year-old son of Deep Field took his earnings beyond $180,000 with his fourth win from 10 career starts.
“He is a smart horse,” trainer Matt Laurie said.
“He has come back really well this preparation. We didn’t draw so well last start, he ran particularly well at Flemington.
“Obviously we had another wide draw today, which I was a little bit disappointed about. It was a great ride from Daniel [Stackhouse] and it is good to see him get a good win.”
Laurie said he was yet to decide what could be next for the gelding.
“I think this horse can continue to improve, he has done that every preparation,” he said.
“Honestly, I would have to look through the calendar and talk to the owners about what we do next.
“Obviously everything has been thrown into disarray but certainly this was a target and it is good to get it done.”
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.