WAGGA Gold Cup-winning jockey Jess Taylor feared heavy downpours would rob her of a chance to snare the victory, adamant the carnival wouldn't have been completed on most regional tracks.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club was hammered by a deluge of rain in the lead-up to and during racing on Thursday and Friday, making it one of the club's most challenging carnivals ever with no crowds allowed on course.
The Kembla Grange-based jockey positioned $5 favourite House of Cartier just outside leader Azaryah before holding off a late surge from backmarker Maurus to win Friday's 2000m feature.
"I was thinking they may not even get through the carnival," Taylor said.
"I think we wouldn't have raced if we were racing on most other regional tracks. The curator at the club (Mark Hart) has done a great job getting through the carnival with the amount of rain they had, it's got to be one of the better tracks handling it.
"It was raining the whole way down there (on Friday), I thought we might be in trouble."
The track also attracted high praise from star jockey Tommy Berry on Twitter who labelled it an "incredible track" after Hart expressed how happy he was at its ability to handle over 50mm on rain in two days.
Taylor said she was rapt to get her first win for Sydney trainer John Sargent, a long-time supporter who labelled her "a very underrated rider" after the race.
"That was the first winner I had for him, so it's not a bad one to get off the mark with," she said.
"He's an easy guy to ride for, he never really ties you down with specific instructions. He'll give you a run down and even with that mare (House of Cartier) he just said settle her where she's comfortable.
"He never said to go forward or back, and it makes my job easier.
"It's a bit hard at the moment because we've been segregated into our different areas where we have to race, but once all this is over hopefully it opens up a few more doors in the city.
"It was very heavy conditions but obviously mine in the cup handled it very well. She had blinkers on for the first time and just put herself outside the leader.
"At the 600-metre mark I was confident she was travelling really well and coming into the straight she let down really nicely. I never really thought it was in doubt."