Albury trainers grabbed thrilling wins in the first two races of the club's Boxing Day meet on Sunday.
The Donna Scott-trained Dreams Afar ($3 equal fav) claimed a gritty win over Tee Cee Tracey ($15), with Kooky Kangaroo ($3 equal) less than a length back in third in the opening maiden over 900m.
"(The most pleasing part was) how tough she was, she looked like she was gone, but fought back really hard and hopefully she can get out over a bit more ground and we can win another one with here," Scott praised.
The four-year-old mare struggled on the heavier tracks over winter, finishing last over 1180m at Gundagai on August 2.
"She showed us a little bit early doors. but she was running on wet tracks and didn't get through it, we just waited for summer, we were going to trial her again, but thought we'd send her around here and she'd pick up a bit of prizemoney, which she was able to do," Scott said.
Dreams Afar also provided a winning start for former Border star, now Canberra-based jockey Brendan Ward.
"That was its grade today, it's been racing on the heavier tracks, but that was a good effort," Ward said.
Meanwhile, it was an even tighter finish in the 1600m maiden as Classy Nigella ($7) and Meladia ($1.70 fav) staged a thrilling run to the post.
Classy Nigella just got there for Jodie Bohr.
"She has a fair bit of ability this horse, but she didn't handle the wet tracks, she had a pretty good run over the 1500 and I backed her up, she didn't back up (well) and then had the two weeks off, today was the day or she would have been sacked," Bohr said.
"I wasn't sure if she was going to be able to beat Meladia, I know Mitch (Beer) has a strong opinion of Meladia."
It was Albury's third Boxing Day meet on a busy day of racing across the region but the club was happy with the strong showing.
"We don't have the final numbers yet, but it looks healthy, we're probably sitting around 600, we're not going to crack 1000, the pre-sales were up a lot of last year, which is great," chief executive officer Steve Hetherton revealed.
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