Quality sprinter Fully Funded provided a minor upset on Saturday when he claimed the feature sprint at Ellerslie.
The gritty five-year-old hadn't been seen in the winner's enclosure for over 12 months and was returning to the track from a mid-summer break after jarring up badly when unplaced at the venue in early January.
Trainer Joanne Surgenor was hopeful of a better performance from her charge after enjoying some respite from the tough summer surfaces during his time away from the track.
"He is such an honest customer that his form over the summer was something I just couldn't work out," she explained.
"After he ran at Ellerslie in January we tipped him out as he jarred up very badly. I think that the hard tracks were what was holding him back despite him having good form on them earlier in his career.
"The wear and tear may have just been telling on him so we gave him a break and brought him back for the autumn when there is a bit more give in the surfaces.
"We weren't sure how he would cope on Saturday as that is probably the wettest track he has raced on but as it turned out he just thrived."
Rated only an outside chance in a small but quality field for the 1200 metre open handicap, Fully Funded defied his odds to race clear in the closing stages of the event and score by an impressive two and a half lengths from pacemaker Passing Shot with Seventh Up finishing well to nab third.
"That was great to see as he always gives you his best when he races so it was nice for him to grab another win," noted Surgenor.
"He was beaten a nose in the same race last year so I guess he got a measure of revenge as well. Everyone is just delighted and there are plenty of smiles around the place right now."
Surgenor hasn't confirmed the next assignment for her charge although she is considering an open 1200 metre event at Te Rapa on 29 April as a possible target.