Caulfield-based trainer Gerard Moloney had made up his mind that Taddei Tondo had run his last race.
That was Monday morning, before final acceptances closed for Wednesday’s Sandown meeting.
But with the deadline extended for the Le Pine Funerals Handicap because of a small field, Moloney had a rethink.
In a change of tactics under Moloney’s son Patrick, Taddei Tondo ($11) held off the fast finishing Macattack ($6.50) to score by a neck with See Me Fly ($4.80) 1-1/4 lengths away in third.
“On Monday morning I virtually said that’s it, we’ll retire him,” Moloney said.
“They called for more acceptances for the race and I thought he’s only got to come over to Sandown, so I accepted with him.
“The horse is fit and well, has no issues, so it’s a terrific result.”
Wednesday’s victory was Taddei Tondo’s first since Bendigo in October 2015 and he had not been placed since running second at Moonee Valley in September last year.
“He hasn’t done much for a fair while and was running into trouble back in the field but I don’t think he’s been racing with much zest,” Moloney said.
“Even today Patrick had to push him hard to take a forward position.
“We won’t make a decision on his future today but I’d be happy for him to finish off on that note.”
A veteran of 65 starts, including eight wins, Taddei Tondo has taken his prize money past $300,000 following Wednesday’s victory.