BOXED in on the final turn and not travelling at his best, things weren't looking the best for Ziggy Rocks in Friday night's Cherry Festival Cup in Young.
But Mat Rue's gelding kept his stride and found the gap to edge out Maximus Red, Deecaesar and Mrs Browns Boy in a frantic four-horse finish.
Ziggy Rocks ($6) gave up the early lead when Maximus Red shot to the front under the guidance of Mitch Turnbull, and Rue sat behind him for the rest of the trip.
However there was some concern for Rue when a three-wide line of Maximus Red, Bettor Than Best and favourite Mrs Browns Boy sat in front of him in the closing bend.
Not only that, Ziggy Rocks wasn't feeling super sharp from the gig.
Maximus Red went on with the job down the straight but when Bettor Than Bettor faded slightly in the final 200m it presented Rue with a window to make his charge.
He ducked to the outside of Maximus Red and drew up alongside him quickly, while further outside Mrs Browns Boy and a fast finishing Deecaesar were also making their cases.
Ziggy Rocks just got the better of them, as the quartet all finished with a neck of each other.
Rue said there was some cause for concern as the field when around the back straight for the final time.
"I was reasonably confident that he was going to get a run but he wasn't handling the last turn really good. With 250m to go he felt a bit uncomfortable," he said.
"He went really well though and he was a long way out of his class there. Some of those horses have nearly won more races than he's been in.
"We're not going to get carried away but he's a lovely horse heading into the future."
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Maximus Red ($4.40) held on for third while a photo was required to declare Deecaesar ($4.60, Scott Hewitt) the third place runner over Mrs Browns Boy ($2.70, Isobel Ross).
While Ziggy Rocks showed promise without major success in his three-year-old season he's now hitting a new level in the early stages of a new season.
Of his $41,000 in career prizemoney $35,000 of it has come from his 11 runs this season.
He's also enjoyed victories in a Country Series Final at Menangle and the J.C. Caffyn Indigenous Drivers Plate Final at the same track.
Rue continues to impress by the way the Pet Rock gelding continues to punch above his weight against serious competition.
"The thing with him is that he's raced out of his class for his last five or six runs. He's been able to kick along and still earn money despite that," he said.
"It was only a matter of time before he did win one because he's been there or thereabouts through those.
"He's won three races this season now and they've been worth $20,000, $15,000 and that one was $12,000 so he's ticking off the right races."
Rue's other entrant at the Young meeting, Smiling Sam, was a close fifth in the preceding race.