It had been 139 days since Mister Jogalong had last lined up to race but he showed a recent spell worked wonders when powering to victory at Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night.
The Dubbo pacer, trained by Mick Lew and driven by Kurt Lew, took out the Carnival of Cups 26th December Pace (1730m), more than four months after his last start.
Despite the spell, the four-year-old gelding began as a $2.50 favourite and he showed good speed from gate two when getting the run along the pegs past Smack Dab Shannon ($9.00) and moving into the lead early on.
When the field got the bell for home Mister Jogalong and Lew held a slim lead over Platinum Roulette ($5.90), Smack Dab Shannon and Captain Brook ($34.20).
The pace lifted in the third quarter and down then down the back straight Im Cool Harry ($18.40), driven by Nathan Hurst, began to make a charge around the outside from deep in the field.
Intransit ($3.40), trained by Steve Turnbull and driven by daughter Amanda, also began to wind up but at the top of the bend Lew got Mr Jogalong to kick to a 5m lead.
The progeny of Life Sign and Miss Jogalong tired late on, understandably, but he had built enough of a lead and hung on to win by 1.9m.
Intransit was second while Im Cool Harry was a further 1.3m back in third.
The win was the 15th of Mister Jogalong’s career and came in start number 33.
He has also scored eight minor-place finishes in his career.
The drive was Lew’s only one of the night.