STEVE Turnbull had some fears Shareapassion would be run down in the closing stages of the $8000 OAMPS Dubbo City Cup on Wednesday night at the showground paceway, but his four-year-old was at his best for a deserved win.
While the Dubbo-owned, Bathurst-trained Mavrick dominated the market and started at $1.50 favourite before finishing unplaced, all the honours were with the master trainer-driver from Bathurst in a test of stamina over 2520 metres.
"He does nice track work with quality horses at home but in his races he tends to over race and can't run on, that's probably why I had some concerns he would get to the line tonight," Turnbull said of the four-year-old stallion.
"He certainly stood up tonight and I'm pleased that he put it together at the races.
"At his best he's certainly up to this quality and I'm hopeful that he can continue to race like that, win a couple more races in the bush, and then go up to the next level at Menangle."
Turnbull's second horse in the Cup field, Western Spirit (Mitch Turnbull) did most of the hard work up front and led at the bell with Shareapassion on the pegs and Tulhurst Candy (Angela Hedges) facing the breeze. Mavrick was in the running line one out, two back.
But the favourite seemed to be doing it tough and never seemed settled. It showed in the closing stages when he failed to run on and finished fifth, 9.3 metres from the winner.
When Steve Turnbull was able to work his way to the front, he went to the line full of running but he needed to be at his best with Tulhurst Courage (Nathan Hurst) at $7.70 only a head away second and Western Spirit - owned by Dubbo club president Jeff Costello and his wife Nea - a good third at $14.30.
"The race panned out good for me," Steve Turnbull said. "But I thought at the top of the straight I was in trouble, but he hung on well."
All the honours were with the winner who has now won eight races from 30 starts.
Connections of Shareapassion were due for a change of luck with their horse being beaten 1.2 metres into second at Parkes two starts back, then a head at Bathurst last start.
Unfortunately there was no joy for Mavrick's Dubbo owner Warren Sambrook.
Having won five times from six starts since being trained by Mark Butler at Bathurst, the five-year-old gelding was disappointing to say the least.
"It was just one of those nights when things didn't go right for us," Sambrook said.
Shareapassion joins a big list of past winners of the Dubbo City Cup including Karloo Mick for Barry Lew in 2005 and the Mick Siejka-trained Intoxicated in 2010.
The race also introduced new sponsors for harness racing in Dubbo - Kylie and Greg Hull at OAMPS Insurance - formerly Lloyd Walker Insurance Brokers.
Kylie also had the added experience of sitting beside the starter Anthony Read in the mobile barrier for the Dubbo City Cup race.
Dubbo harness racing is on again February 23; March 1-16 and April 3 - heats of the Carnival of Cups - and the final on Sunday 7.