Matt Dale has upstaged Highway Handicap training rival Matthew Dunn as Mossman Gorge kept an unbeaten record this term at Rosehill.
Dale missed Mossman’s Gorge’s win on Saturday because his son cut a finger and needed surgery.
In his absence, the three-year-old helped Dale keep pace with Murwillumbah’s Matt Dunn as the dominant trainers in the Highway series for country horses.
The Dunn-trained $1.70 favourite Lifesaver had to settle for third.
Mossman Gorge ($5) took control of the race when Jay Ford guided the gelding to the front from the outside gate over the 1100m.
He kept his rivals at bay to score by a neck from the fast-finishing Nic’s Vendetta ($11) with Lifesaver a half head further back.
“He likes to get out and roll along and do his own thing,” Dale’s racing manager Debbie Rieper said.
Ford, who also rode Mossman Gorge when he won first-up at Kembla Grange on August 10, said he continued to show positive signs.
“They made him work to get across the front but what I liked was once he got there all he wanted to do was relax underneath me,” he said.
“He conserved enough energy to give me a good kick.”
Rieper said Mossman Gorge would likely target a second Highway win at his next start.