MAC’S Reward made light of a wide barrier to dash to the front, and remain there, for the duration of Tuesday’s Howard’s Coaches Benchmark 55 Handicap (1000m) at Quirindi.
The Andrew Robinson-trained four-year-old chestnut gelding drew barrier 12 but jockey Courtney van der Werf took him straight to the front to hold on for a short neck win from Todd Howlett’s Magic Beneteau.
Smokey eye, trained at Walcha by George Woodward, was a length away third.
Van der Werf has had a lot to do with the Muswellbrook gelding – and was delighted he was back to his best.
“He’s had a few things go wrong,” she said.
“He likes the hard ground and the wide barriers, too.”
She said he was able to “get away with it” and notch a fourth career win for Robinson.
The Muswellbrook mentor was also delighted to have the son of Reward For Effort back at his best.
He said he has fixed “his crook feet”.
“We’ve got him right,” Robinson explained.
“The wide barriers don’t worry him because he’s got the gate speed to get across.”
He could be looking at a home track start next for his gelding.
“Maybe have a crack at a benchmark 55 in a couple of weeks, depends what benchmark they give him,” Robinson said.