Stakeswinning sprinter Welkom Gold broke a two-year drought from the winner’s circle with an all-the-way success at Rosehill on Saturday.
The eight-year-old has endured plenty of setbacks during his career and his victory was rewarding for trainer Darren Smith and the gelding’s owners.
“They (the owners) have really stuck by him and we’ve always said he could gallop,” Smith said.
“We walked away from Randwick last start disappointed because he didn’t find the line, but I just put it down to him running out of condition first-up.
“His trackwork has been terrific and the staff at home look after him like he’s a Barbie doll.
“They really spend a lot of time on him.
“Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards from here.”
Ridden by Kathy O’Hara, Welkom Gold sped to the front in the Bradford Solar Handicap (1100m) and gave nothing else a chance in the run to the line as he posted his fourth Rosehill win from 10 starts at the track.
His most recent victory had been at Rosehill in October 2010, but since then he spent 18 months on the sidelines with a bowed tendon injury before returning earlier this year.
Welkom Gold ($16) accounted for Didntcostalot ($3.50) by a length with Magita ($11) 1-1/2 lengths away third.
While veteran Welkom Gold burst back into winning form at the meeting, a galloper just starting out his career, Criterion, made an encouraging debut in the Lindoran Group Plate (1100m).
The David Payne-trained two-year-old got into clear running in the middle of the track in the straight and reeled in the Gai Waterhouse-trained favourite Sweet Idea to score by half a length.
“He’s still got a lot to learn but he’s started off with a good win,” jockey Glyn Schofield said.
Waterhouse managed to get on the board later in the day when favourite Under The Sun ($1.90) took out the Blacktown Workers Club Group Handicap (1500m).
He is set to be given a break to return for a shot at better races later in the season.
“Gai thinks he’s going to make a pretty decent horse but he just needs to strengthen up a bit more,” stable representative Mark Newnham said.
Meanwhile, apprentice Alysha Collett was suspended for six meetings for careless riding aboard Pipette in the fourth race.