A DECISION to drop Lumber Dream down in the weights proved a masterstroke as he enjoyed Wagga Gold Cup carnival success on Thursday.
Lumber Dream had been racing in terrific form this preparation and it peaked on Thursday with a big win in The Daily Advertiser Benchmark 66 Showcase Handicap (2000m).
The four-year-old Snitzel gelding looked like he was going to be the victim of bad luck halfway down the straight before jockey Richard Bensley found clear air and Lumber Dream charged home for victory.
He arrived just in time to score by a long neck from Zounique, with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Reinvest a further length and a half back in third.
Wantabadgery trainer Rodger Waters had long held the view that Lumber Dream, while racing well, was not at his best carrying big weights so stepped him up in class with success on Thursday.
"The horse has been racing very consistently and I've told the boys, the last three or four months, that he can't carry the 59.5 that he's been expected to in the class one and maidens," Waters said.
"I said we're going to drop him in the (Benchmark) 66 and drop four or five (kilos) off his back and see what happens.
"There's no way known he would have jumped out of the ground like he did with 59 on his back."
Waters also admitted he thought Bensley may have blown their chances when he found trouble at a crucial point in the home straight.
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"I just said to Richie that I went from wanting to shoot you to kiss you in 50 metres," Waters said with a laugh.
"He was about to get shot. I couldn't have him winning. I turned around to Stuart Lamont, who was sitting next to me, and said how could he get into that trouble when you've got all that track here.
"But it helped that he was carrying 55 on his back, not 59."
An enthusiastic group of connections celebrated in fine style after Lumber Dream arrived in time and Waters was chuffed to see so many happy owners.
"That's what it's all about," he said.
Waters was planning on the paddock for Lumber Dream but will now consider one more run if that right option appears.
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