It has taken a brilliant ride from Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy to get Religify an overdue win as favourite.
The gelding started top pick in four of his past five starts, all of which ended in defeat.
He was supported from $2.40 to the $2.10 favourite to win the November Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday and did not let punters down as he coasted to a 2-1/4 length victory.
McEvoy elected to cross the field from the widest barrier to take the lead.
He got to work on Religify at the 600m mark and never looked like being beaten on entering the straight.
Duca Valentinois ($9.50) and Red Excitement ($7) filled the placings.
Trainer Chris Waller’s racing manager, Charlie Duckworth, said McEvoy’s positive ride gave his rivals no opportunity for an easy sectional.
“Kerrin really grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck,” Duckworth said.
“It was a peach of a ride.”
The Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in two weeks shapes as a logical target for Religify, which placed in that grade at Doomben in May.
“It’s great to see a tough, honest horse like this have his day in the sun,” Duckworth said.
“No doubt he’ll be back here in a couple of weeks to do exactly the same thing.”
Stablemate Multifacets also returned to the winners’ list, taking out the 2000m race.
Multifacets ran 12th in the Group One Queensland Derby in June but Duckworth said Saturday’s race was a more suitable grade.
“We will probably keep him to this level for the time being,” he said.