Frespanol has erased memories of his last trip to the Sunshine Coast with victory in the open handicap, a race deferred from the Doomben wash-out.
The 1350m-race abandoned on Saturday was added to what was already a 12–race program on Wednesday with many of the runners being prepared for upcoming summer features.
Ridden by Jim Byrne, former Sydney-trained Frespanol ($10) scored by a short head to Jopa ($9) on Wednesday with a half length to third-placed Harada Bay ($8).
The last time Frespanol headed to the Sunshine Coast in April he was in a float which rolled down an embankment on the Bruce Highway and he spent 40 minutes trapped inside.
Frespanol and the three other horses on the truck escaped serious injury but he missed the winter carnival.
Trainer Tony Gollan, who is in New Zealand for a horse sale, said by phone the win had come as no surprise and Frespanol had improved with each race this campaign.
“He was good first-up and then had no luck at all second-up when caught deep,” Gollan said.
“He is a nice horse and he will now run in the Recognition Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.
“After that he will chase the feature races such as the Lough Neagh and Bernborough Stakes in the summer.”
Gollan said Frespanol owed him a win in a stakes race from his days when the gelding was trained in Sydney.
“He actually beat me in a stakes race when Gai Waterhouse trained him. My mare Tornado Miss ran second to him in the 2015 Spear Chief Stakes at Doomben,” Gollan said.
“I do think he will be even fitter next time so the stakes race might be soon.”
Group Two winner Rudy lost no friends when he came from third last to finish fifth.