"HE'S been a grand galloper."
That statement from race caller Col Hodges made in reference to Moment Of Clarity on Monday afternoon could not have been more fitting as the nine-year-old Bathurst-trained gelding notched up the 17th win of his career.
Owned by Bathurst trainer Sarah Murray-Leslie and her husband Ash Goulder, Moment Of Clarity has become well-known on central west tracks for his barnstorming finishes.
He was at one stage retired, but he returned after 50 weeks away from the race track to win six races in his following campaign.
Age and work load do not seem to trouble the chestnut Victory Prince x Maximum Storm gelding as in start 109 on Monday he sat back for apprentice Winona Costin before mowing down his rivals in the Club Dubbo Christmas Cup Benchmark 75 Handicap (1405 metres).
"I said about halfway through my call that something would come from behind," Hodges said.
"He [Moment Of Clarity] steamed home down the outside to finish off well."
Almost 12 months earlier in Dubbo Moment Of Clarity had won the Christmas Cup by a neck over Vigneron as a $4 equal favourite, but this year he started longer at $13.
In late November at the same track Moment Of Clarity had placed eighth in a field of nine, but given it was a tight finish and had come after a 16-week spell it was a better effort than it appeared.
It was I'm In The Money, who had placed third in this year's Mudgee Cup, who started as the $3.20 favourite and for much of the 1405m trip the mare battled with $3.80 second elect Prince Jackorelli.
Prince Jackorelli was the quickest away from the barriers to take the lead, but the favourite was soon on his outside.
This duo did it tough in front, but back in second last Costin was happy to wait with Moment Of Clarity.
With 500m to go Hodges predicted that one of those sitting off the pace would finish over the top of the leading duo and that is exactly what happened.
At one stage it looked as if it could be Toranga, who swept three-deep, or Big Be who would be the one to do it, but Costin then got the Bathurst gelding motoring.
He went on to win by three-quarters-of-a-length over Prince Jackorelli in a class record time of 1:22.57.
Third, a further two lengths back, belonged to Khamsin Warrior ($4.40).
A grand galloper indeed.