Fresh legs were the key to The Gordonian producing a career-best last-start performance.
The veteran stayer won Saturday’s Listed Carriers Arms Hotel Riverton Cup (2147m) in trying conditions off a six-week break between runs.
That may not have been intentional, but it is a formula trainer Jo-Ann Gordon will repeat ahead of the rugged gelding’s next appearance in the Great Autumn Handicap (2500m) at Riccarton on May 5.
“I wasn’t surprised he won, he’s been jarring up and needs the wetter tracks,” she said.
“It was wonderful to see him win a good race.
“He doesn’t feel like a nine-year-old to ride and he just needs the sting out of the ground.
“Ideally, I would have liked to have gone to Tapanui, but the track was too hard and then I was going to give him a jump-out but the track was too hard again so I did all the work with him on the all- weather sand track.
“He’ll go to the Great Autumn next and that’s a gap between runs again, but I’m confident we can have him ready at home again.”
The son of Remind, who has now won 11 races, finished runner-up in the Riccarton event last year behind Bloodstream.
The Gordonian capped off a red letter day at Riverton for Gordon after stablemate Shakti had earlier on the programme successfully carried 61kg to account for his Rating 75 rivals.
“We were a bit disappointed with his previous run at Invercargill, but he’s never really gone well there and he appreciated a wee let-up after that,” Gordon said.
“He’s a big, strong horse who can carry weight. There’s nothing around here for him either so he’ll go to Riccarton as well.”