Count Montecristo proved he’s still got some life in his old legs when taking out the Windmill Final (1,720 metres) at Dubbo Harness Racing Club on Sunday.
The Anthony Higgs, Bathurst-trained nine-year-old was making the 136th start of his career in the feature event and while he had to work for it, he got the job done.
Amy Rees did the work in the gig, coming from midfield to move around to the extreme outside in the straight and claim victory by a half-head.
“His last few runs have been really good,” Rees said after the trophy presentation.
“He just needed that bit of confidence and now he’s going quite well.
“I’ve driven him about four of five times and he’s always been thereabouts, which is good, but he just needs the race to go his way like most of them these days. We were just lucky today.”
Rees settled seventh early as the Barry Lew-trained Karloo Jonno attempted to give driver Mat Rue a fourth win of the day up front.
Lew’s hope battled Reverse Psychology ($3.80) for the lead and they led the field into the back straight on the final lap.
It was there the Steve Turnbull-trained Grosestar ($2.50 favourite) made his move and Rees got the run behind him along the outside.
There were a number of contenders as the field moved into the straight and Rees and Count Montecristo ($18) were forced even further wide to get a clear run.
There was work to be done but the nine-year-old had what it took to motor down the straight and nab the win from Turnbull’s hope while Karloo Jonno hung on for third.
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“He really winds up and he drops it a bit down the back and then you give him a few and he winds up again,” Rees explained.
“We were waiting for the ones up the front to get tired. I knew I’d get a cheque but I wasn’t sure if I’d get there (to the lead) until the end when we did.”
Rees was also particularly pleased to drive a winner for the popular Higgs, one of the people who has supported her the most since she made the move from Queensland.
“I’ve been really lucky and have had a few people putting me on and that’s much appreciated,” she said.