Newcastle trainer Paul Perry has won his fourth Quirindi Cup in five years after five-year-old gelding Salsa Man stormed home to claim the $50,000 race on Friday afternoon.
Ridden by Clayton Gallagher, Sala Man beat the Cameron Crockett-trained Brother Bassy (Jake Pracey-Holmes) by just over half a length over the 1600m journey - with the Tracey Bartley-trained Joigny (Samantha Clenton) one and half lengths away in third place.
The win sparked an emotional stroll down memory lane for 71-year-old Perry, who recalled how he first came to Quirindi as a 13-year-old.
It was for the Quirindi Cup - and at the time he was riding track work for the late Newcastle trainer Doug Frost.
He recalled how he stayed with the family of the late Quirindi Jockey Club secretary Bob Austin.
"God it was a lovely family," he said, adding: "And they took me up on that hill at Quirindi - you know, it looks everywhere."
That indelible introduction to the picturesque course resulted in the internationally renowned trainer maintaining "a soft spot" for Quirindi.
"I'll never forgot it," he said of that initial experience. "And I've sort of been going back ever since."
It was Sala Man's third win in 34 starts. He finished third at Quirindi over 1450m on January 12.
Perry described that run as "terrific", adding the he knew the tempo of Friday's race "was gonna suit him".
"I thought he had a great chance in the race," he said.
Sala Man paid $4.60 for the win (NSW Tab fixed odds).
Perry's Nothing Too Hard triumph in the Quirindi Cup last year after it was transferred to Scone due to rain.
The previous year, Perry's San Francisco won.
He won the 2017 Cup with Secret Web.