The decision to miss the winter carnival with promising stayer Kubis looks likely to reap benefits after his first-up win at Eagle Farm.
Kubis ($15) got up in the last stride to beat Monsieur Gustave ($7.50) by a half head in the Ascot Plaza Handicap (1400m).
The gelding is trained by the Chris Anderson-Robert Heathcote partnership which has had seven winners to start the metropolitan season.
Heathcote said it had been hoped to run Kubis in the winter carnival feature races.
“However, even though he ran second in the Toowoomba Cup he got balloted out of a couple of the other features,” he said.
“It was such a strong winter carnival for stayers I made the decision to put him away for the Racing Queensland stayers series coming up in the next months.
“Kubis had never won first-up before but he had run four seconds fresh.”
Earlier, jockey Matt McGillivray completed a treble when Invincible Gangsta ($4.40) landed some big bets to win the Lady Williams Memorial (1000m).
McGillivray, who earlier won on Ilwendo ($1.50) and Epic Girl ($3.40), has only just returned from a suspension and is keen to stay out of the stewards’ room this season.
“I am really keen to improve on last year when I won my first Group One race,” he said.
As much as $11 was bet about Invincible Gangsta who trainer Barry Lockwood believes can go on to win a good race.
“He was suited today down in the weights and with a good barrier, but once he puts it all together he will be a handy horse” he said.
Toowoomba apprentice Nick Keal again showed he had matured into a city-class rider with a rails-hugging effort to win on Looks Like Elvis ($3.70) in the Ascot Green Handicap (1600m).
Trainer Bryan Dais said Look Likes Elvis would have one more start in Brisbane before heading to the Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 20.
“I told Nick to stay near the rail as he had barrier one and not come away from it. He waited for the break and got the right run,” Dais said.
“Looks Like Elvis has been very good to me. He was just the horse I needed to boost my career at this stage.”