Michael Lane was the most profitable trainer to back blind in Western Australian thoroughbred races last year, while a rider with whom he has shared soaring highs and brutal lows was the jockey with the state’s best return on investment.

Punters who jumped aboard the Lane Train on New Year’s Day 2020 and backed each of the Bunbury-based handler’s runners in Western Australian events throughout the year to level stakes posted a profit of 42.43 per cent. Lane saddled 173 starters in his home state for 45 victories, his tally of wins more than all bar eight of his local contemporaries.

Fiona Bell, who steered Lane-trained Beg To Differ to win the 2018 Apprentices’ Cup at Belmont eight months after her losing ride aboard the Lane stable’s Gee Boss at Pinjarra caused a social media meltdown, rewarded her supporters in 2020, her six victories from her 122 starts producing a return on investment of 69.20% to level stakes. Bell, Hannah Fitzgerald (30.13%), Kristo Sardelic (26.30%), Mitchell Pateman (4.47%) and Beaux Banovic-Edwards (1.60%) were the only five jockeys to show a profit in Western Australia.

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