Consistent Alward broke through for an overdue win to give champion trainer Chris Waller winners in three states on Saturday.
Alward ($7) scored his first win since August when he wore down leader Kubis ($7.50) to score by a half neck in the Ascot Green Handicap (2000m) at Doomben.
The unlucky Fighting Teo ($3.60) was 2-1/2 lengths back in third place.
Waller had won earlier with Nature Strip in the Group One Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington and had a double at Rosehill.
Alward is far from the star of Waller’s team but he has now won seven races and been minor placed nine times for nearly $550,000 in prize momey.
Waller’s Queensland manager Paul Shailer said Alward always tried hard but could have the occasional “think” about winning.
“It was a good win today but you could see he was thinking about going past the other horse. He can be a hard horse to place because I am not sure he gets a strong 2200m,” Shailer said.
“We will just have to look for something else around 2000m here or in the south.”
Dale Smith, who rode Kubis, could offer no excuses while Luke Tarrant said his mount Fighting Teo had got shuffled back too far in the middle stages.
Trainer Robert Heathcote’s decision to drop smart three year old Guntantes back in distance proved a winner when the gelding stormed home to win the QTIS Three-Year-Old (1350m).
Heathcote had tried Guntantes ($6) at longer distances with the gelding winning at 1600m but getting well beaten at his next start over 1800m.
“There is an argument he can’t get past 1600m and I accept part of that. It as why I turned him out for short freshen up and dropped him back in distance here,” Heathcote said.
“There is another three year old over 1600m in a fortnight and I am thinking about giving him a chance in it.”