ALTA Equus has turned the corner for Bernie Hewitt.
The Alta Christiano gelding gave the Georges Plains trainer his second win in three starts when he led all the way in Wednesday night's Club Menangle Country Series Heat (1,730 metres) at Bathurst.
Alta Equus ($6.50) enjoyed a comfortable trip in front and came home in a final quarter of 28.4 to see off a surprise charge from Blaze Edition ($151, Wade Judd) and Matamua ($8.50, Ashlee Grives).
A small two month spell away from the track has breathed new life into Alta Equus, who has looked like a different horse this season.
His only miss since returning in September was a highly respectable sixth in the Group 3 Canola Cup final.
Winning driver Doug Hewitt said it's nice to see Alta Equus realising some of his potential.
"The opening quarter was probably a little too quick. He had to burn a little bit to stay in front," he said.
"He's a horse that's been a little bit wild lately but over his last couple of runs he's come back as the horse he used to be.
"He settled nicely during the run and once he got that cheap third quarter it helped him get home."
Alta Equus found the front from gate two but had to work for it after Blaze Edition tried to reach the lead from out wide.
Blaze Edition dropped in behind Alta Equus and Magical Times put in an effort to lead the outside line.
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Favourite Heart Of Cooper ($1.50, David Hewitt) found space to shift out to the one-one position and was primed to make a move on the turn for home.
However, Heart Of Cooper didn't have a challenge to offer on the straight and faded from the finish.
Blaze Edition peeled out wide for his sprint and Matamua finished with a head full of steam down the inside but neither had the time to run down Alta Equus.
Hewitt's winner ran a new career best mile rat of 1:56.7.
It would have been three straight wins for Alta Equus if not for Scott Hewitt's No Doubt at the previous Bathurst meeting.
Alta Equus finished a close second on that occasion and that run gave Doug Hewitt confidence for the next attempt.
"If there was a bit more mid race speed in that race then he probably finishes a lot closer," he said.
"The leader last week got it pretty easy in front and he sprinted home. He just couldn't quite pick it up in the straight but he did take off a lot of ground.
"He's a horse that each week keeps getting better and hopefully he can take that to Menangle."
The Country Series Final will run November 16.