Kim Waugh was on the verge of scratching Uptown Lad before she saddled him up for the final race at Rosehill.
So the trainer’s snap decision to start the gelding proved inspired as he rebounded from a concerning wet track run to cruise home in the ATC Owners Benefit Card Handicap (1300m) on Saturday.
As the track was downgraded again due to rain, Wyong-based trainer Waugh was pondering withdrawing Uptown Lad.
“I was on the phone when they put it to a heavy 8. He finished his last prep on a heavy 8 and went awful,” she said.
Fortunately, Waugh gave Uptown Lad the benefit of the doubt regarding his distant eighth in a benchmark handicap at Rosehill in June.
“He was going out so we weren’t sure if he was flat. Obviously he was because he swam today, he just thrived,” Waugh said.
Uptown Lad ($8) cleared out to win by 2-3/4 lengths in front of Level Eight ($12) while Powerline ($6) was a short half-head back in third.
Waugh said Uptown Lad would run third up on his home track in a fortnight and then have a spell before a crack at the Provincial Championships in autumn.