Josh Adams erred and paid the penalty, but his latest run-in with Racing NSW officialdom could not detract from a priceless experience at Randwick.
Adams could be forgiven for celebrating before The Monstar passed the post to claim the Listed June Stakes (1100m) feature on Saturday.
Even chief steward Marc Van Gestel noted the significance of the former champion apprentice’s first city winner for three years.
“We’re aware of your circumstances and your long road back to where you are now,” he said, before fining Adams $200.
“I misjudged it a bit, no excuses,” Adams said, and not for the first time.
After whooping with delight as The Monstar crossed the line, 5-3/4 lengths clear of $3.10 Crownbet favourite Kudero, the 25-year-old fought back tears after returning to scale.
“I never thought it would happen again. I just want to thank the connections and Brett (Cavanough) for entrusting me with the ride.”
Adams, a rehabilitated ice user, credited Scone-based Cavanough for having faith in him once he completed a two-year ban imposed by Racing NSW for testing positive to an illicit substance for the third time.
He returned to riding last New Year’s Eve and 2017 has been happy so far for Adams.
“It’s been a long battle, it’s pretty well documented I’ve had my demons to deal with,” he said.
“When I decided to come back I never thought I’d be back at Randwick. I thought if I was get some rides and chip away I’d happy with that. It’s gone significantly better than that.”
A delighted Cavanough knew Adams was headed for the stewards room as he watched the six-year-old gelding rack up his 11th win from 37 starts.
“I heard him cooeeing about 50 (metres) out and then he couldn’t help himself, he expressed himself and put his hand in the air. Good on him.”