JOE Craig returned to the winners circle for the first time in five years when Dazzle Street arrived in the last stride to win the $8000 Peel Valley Tyres Class 1 Handicap (1000m) at Tamworth's Melbourne Cup day meeting.
Craig has just three horses in work on his Gunnedah property.
"We're about 10mins drive from the track (at Riverside) and float them to work three times a week," Craig said.
Dazzle Street, a six-year-old mare he bought on the internet and trains for his mother and uncle, finished strongly to beat Zach Hatch's Kensington kid by a half head with Sideshow Al (Jeremy Everson) a length away third.
A former Tasmanian-trained mare Dazzle Street looked no chance at the top of the straight but unleashed a powerful burst to run down a tiring Kensington Kid for a second career win in 22 starts.
Craig has had her about 10 weeks.
"Bought her for my uncle and mother," he said.
"Gunnedah (sixth of 12 to Place Street) was a bit of a trial for her. We aimed her at this race."
He is delighted to be back too.
"Had five years away from it," he said of training.
"I did own a couple but had them with different trainers. That was a lot easier for me."
Earlier Untamed Mistress made light of a tough run to win her maiden.
The Sue Grills-trained mare, a four-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom, raced six and seven deep around the tight B Grass track to grab a length win over Adam Vine's Annarose. Melanie Bolwell's Pippin was a half length away third in a race where the winner clocked 1min 28.8secs.
After drawing barrier six in the eight-horse JT Fossey Maiden Plate (1000m) apprentice Yvette Lewis was caught wide but elected to stay in what she and the stable thought was the better part of the going.
"We were wide," Lewis said.
"That's where the best part of the track is. She'll take a lot of confidence out of that win."
Since starting her apprenticeship on June 8 the teenaged Tingha jockey has ridden 24 winners, 19 of them in the Hunter and North West Racing Association.
Only Aaron Bullock, who heads the HNWRA jockey's premiership with 28 wins has ridden more in the HNWRA this season.
It was also Grills' sixth winner of the HNWRA season, leaving her fifth behind Kris Lees (19) and Moree's Peter Sinclair (14).
The Tamworth trainer wasn't at Tamworth, instead she was on her way to Muswellbrook with The Real Boss.
"She was heading out the gate after the race," Sue's eldest son Andy said as he waited for Untamed Mistress to return to scale.
"Would have been standing on the bulbar watching her win."
"It was a good win, Yvette was caught wide but she was travelling. Credit to her (Yvette) she kept going forward."
Grills trains the mare for Arthur Vincent and Craig McDonald, and her husband John.
Vincent, who also has a share in talented Burning Crown, thinks the mare has potential.
"I also named her," he said of the five-start daughter of Animal Kingdom-Lady Who.