Consistent filly Embark got her reward at Rosehill on Saturday with a last-gasp victory following two close seconds this campaign.
Aided by a 1.5kg claim for apprentice Josh Adams, Embark, the $3.50 favourite, claimed Onecatstoomany ($15) in the final bounds of the Pacific West Handicap (1200m).
Embark had been ridden by senior jockey Brenton Avdulla at her past two starts when she finished a half neck second to See The World and a short head to the worse of Rushing To Win, giving that horse 3.5kg.
The win brought up a race-to-race double for Adams who rode Australian Star to victory in the Naturalaz Handicap (1400m) for his master Gerald Ryan.
“If we could have had Josh on for her last start she probably wins that,” Embark’s co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.
“She is very consistent but is paying for it with weight.
“But she is the ideal horse for this time of year.
“She is back in at the right time and it’s horses like this that keep the stable ticking over in the winter months.
“She’s not top class but she is paying her way.
“We are a stable that is all about quality and we’ve always got young ones coming through but you also need horses like this.”
Adams, who returned from a five-month suspension for a drug offence late last year, said he was determined to get back to the top.
The 20-year-old won the 2010/11 apprentices’ premiership despite being sidelined for the final two months.
“I’m putting in the hard work,” he said.
“I’m getting the rewards and loving it.”