Appreciating a drop in class, Saloon Passage returned to winning ways with a tough performance in the Temora Pacers Cup on Saturday night.
Posted three wide for over a lap, the Bathurst pacer still had enough fire power to run down Strathlachlan Andy ($8.10) to win by 2.9 metres.
It reversed a run of outs for the son of Elsu, who hadn’t tasted success since August.
Coming off down the track efforts in group races, Saloon Passage ($3.80) found Temora’s feature race much more to his liking.
Trainer Nathan Hurst was pleased with his performance.
“He went really well,” Hurst said.
“His last few runs have been really good, but just against the really top ones.
“It was probably a little drop in grade, still good horses, but he managed to tough it out well and get the money.
“He hasn’t won for a while and he has been running big races so it was nice to get a win.”
Getting into the race courtesy of Cameron Hart’s concession claim, the seven-year-old moved around the field before the speed really came into the race.
Hurst thought it was a move that paid off.
“The pace was on early, which sort of helped us, and Cameron took off and looked after him from there,” he said.
“In the last 400 he finished really well.”
Hart, a former Junee reinsman, returned home to the region for the drive.
It made the trip from Menangle more than worthwhile.
“It is a big thrill and he’s a really nice horse,” Hart said.
“He did it tough but he just kept putting in.
“He had to do a bit of work mid race but I was happy to get up there before they started sprinting on this little track.”
The 18-year-old rated it one of the biggest wins of his career and up there with some of his metropolitan victories since linking with Shane Sanderson in Sydney.
Saloon Passage’s cup win comes two years after he finished second in the race behind David Hewitt’s Holm Three.
The victory saw him more past the $250,000 mark in career earnings and he’s now won 25 of his 86 starts plus another 30 placings.
Meanwhile former Temora trainer Chris Hughes enjoyed a night out with a double.
Hughes won the Evolution heat for three-year-old fillies with Trunkey Tash before Illtellyounothing also qualified for a lucrative final at Menangle by taking out a Menangle Country Series heat.
Both horses were driven to victory by Blake Jones.
Jones also took out the Milbrae Quarries final with Rocking for David Kennedy to make it three wins on the trot.
Pump The Brakes won the other final on the night for Amanda and Mitch Turnbull.