LORD Denzel has claimed back-to-back wins for the first time in his career after leading all the way in Wednesday night's opening event at Bathurst Paceway.
A comfortable opening half out in front for Lord Denzel ($4.80, Doug Hewitt) in the BHRC Awards Night 25 October Pace (2,260 metres) gave him the energy he needed to hold off a late dive from favourite Sporty Frank ($2.60, Steve Turnbull).
The winning Pet Rock gelding has provided trainer Bernie Hewitt his share of ups and downs over the past year and a half but he's currently in career-best form.
He's showing signs of flexibility too, with Wednesday's victory being his first beyond 2,000 metres.
Winning driver Doug Hewitt said Lord Denzel has found his groove of late.
"He's one of those horses who just keeps on improving. We reached a point where we were almost considering selling him because he just wasn't making that next step," he said.
"Something's just clicked with him now and he's starting to work better, feeling better and looking good too. His form definitely proves that."
Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here.
Lord Denzel got out well at the green light to take a sit alongside Sporty Frank going into the first turn.
Hewitt decided to work ahead on the bend to take up the running, and travelled comfortably with opening quarters of 31 and 30.4.
He went away from the field on the final turn and Sporty Frank was the only challenger capable of keeping up.
Sporty Frank closed down on Lord Denzel strongly over the final 100m, but that was nowhere near enough time to bring down the leader.
Hewitt said the front-running choice meant nothing was certain for his runner but, naturally, he's happy with the decision to go forward.
"He's a funny horse because he'd rather take a sit but he's won from the death and he's won from in front. But once I got to the front and was able to do things my own way that made things easier," he said.
"He's one of those horses you don't really aim for anything but with the way he's going you start to think about picking out your races a little bit."