Former smart Sydney two-year-old Dio D’Oro turned back the clock to record his first North Queensland victory with a gritty last stride win at Cluden Park on Friday.
Now trained in Townsville by Matt McGuire, the multiple city winner responded to Krysten Swaffer’s urgings to win by a nose in the Ray Fuller Memorial (1300m) .
McGuire is now hopeful the six-year-old will measure up as a carnival horse next year.
“He was a Darby Racing horse and showed a ton of ability as a young horse in Sydney, winning three of his first five starts,” McGuire said.,
“The horse lost his form down there and went to Matt Dunn who won a race with him at Doomben.
“All of his runs there were good but he obviously didn’t run to up their expectations and we had the chance to buy him.
“He’s sound and we thought he might make a nice carnival horse.
“We learnt a lesson with him last start here when he led and got caught in a speed battle and weakened.
“You’ve got to take a sit with him and Krysten rode him perfectly today just off the pace.
“He’s not handling the heat too well so he might have one more and go for a spell. It’s always good to give them a prep to settle in before giving them a break and bringing them back for the better races.”
Dio D’Oro dived right on the line to beat Maquereau in a desperate finish by a short half head with Simply Splashing a neck away third.
Atherton trainer Michael Lee landed a rare winning double when star mare Ruby July and her little brother Yes Dream won successive races.
Ruby July, with Lacey Morrison in the saddle, showed her class to cross from a wide alley to lead throughout to beat the smart Temple Run in the Willows Pool Shop Cl6 Plate (1000m).
Just a half an hour earlier Yes Dream and Morrison toughed out a wide run to win the BFQ 3yo QTIS Mdn (1000m).
Rising star Prime Ruler continued his winning streak, bringing up his fourth straight victory in the TAB Cl3 Plate (1200m).
And in a day of tight finished Stolen Diamonds won by a nose in the Horan and Bird M55 Hcp (1400m) for trainer Liliana McCormack.