A group one berth made all the early morning and long hours worthwhile for Bayley Duck.
The 21-year-old drove Mister Donald to victory in the eighth heat of the Regional Championships for his father Saul at Riverina Paceway on Friday.
Combining the horses with his work as a roof plumber means he puts in big days to get the team up and firing.
"It is good for Bayley and Laura (Diebert) as they do most of the work," Saul Duck said.
"I only jog them so I can't claim too much of it but it is a great result."
The winter makes it harder to get the work done after finishing in the late afternoon.
Mister Donald finished third behind Western Sonador in last week's heat.
However this time around he was able to dictate terms, working to the front before going on the hold off The Ideal Dancer by 6.4 metres.
Bayley was thrilled with his efforts.
"It is great to be able to get into a bigger race," he said.
While the Junee combination are through to their first group one they are realistic about their chances in next week's $100,000 final.
Especially after being beaten by 17.5 metres last week.
"Really we can't win the final unless they get bad luck and we get good luck but still he is in there," Saul Duck said.
"It is good for Bayley.
"He is a couple of seconds behind the real good ones but hopefully we run a place in the final.
"If we get a good draw then we are a place chance.
While Mister Donald has always shown plenty of potential he struggled with illness last preparation.
However he delivered on the big stage.
"He has come a long way the horse and Bayley has been with him the whole time so it just makes it special," Saul Duck said.
"He is going better this year than last year but he was crook last year.
"He done a real good job to win any races last year but he has come back real good this year."
They almost qualified two for the final with the unlucky Rockita just unable to run down Ultimate Risk in the following heat.
The $3.20 favourite was buried along the pegs after drawing inside of the second row and plenty charged home late to go through to the consolation.
However the result would have been a big thrill for Darren and Adam Richardson as well as an emotion one for connections.
The mare is raced by former Wagga president Linda Inwood and her late husband Don, a life member of the club, who passed away last month.