Giving Vassal a change of scene on the Gold Coast has finally paid dividends on his return to Rosehill.
After three recent narrow losses in Queensland, the six-year-old marked his return to Sydney racing with a gritty win in the TAB.com.au Handicap (2400m).
Vassal ($9.50) let stablemate Great Glen set the pace before levelling up at the 300m under Tye Angland and hanging tough to claim a tight finish.
He denied Lycurgus ($4.20) by a half head while Great Glen ($6) was a neck back in third.
Trainer Chris Waller credited his staff on the Gold Coast after Vassal broke through in the 10th start of a campaign that started in Melbourne in July.
“Travelling a horse to a different environment is the easiest way to keep them interested,” Waller said.
“The team did a great job with him, sending him down in such good condition.”
Waller said Vassal, who relocated to the Gold Coast three months ago, will now look out for a similar staying test.
“He’s been racing well, he’s a fit horse. It was a perfect ride,” Waller said.
“It was a good fight, it’s the best I’ve seen him fight for a long time.”