He's been a long and at times costly investment on the part of Bathurst trainer Gemma Rue, but gelding Kash Us Back is doing just what his name says for the out of town stable, racking up an eighth win career win at the Dubbo Paceway on Sunday.
The much beloved horse never had much space between him and his rivals during the Chandlers Stockfeed Windmill Pace, but put in a controlled, calm performance that saw him lead through much of the track and quickly regain his place at the front of the pack on the final turn.
Kash Us Back beat out the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven Raineri NZ and Steve and Mitch Turnbull's Rock On NZ in the final stretch, putting on an impressive burst of speed amidst wet conditions.
The win was only the twentieth start for Kash Us Back, who was laid low with a serious illness at a young age that threatened to end his racing career before it had ever really begun and possibly take his life.
"Yeah, he's a very special horse to us, I bred him and brought him up, that's a bit of the story behind his name, he got quite sick at one year old and we had to spend quite a lot of money to save his life," Rue said.
"We didn't know if he was any good, but yeah, I'm glad that we did it, he means the world to us and that's where the name comes from, the vet bill ended up racking up to be quite a bit but it was worth it, we just love him to bits."
The win was also credited to another strengthening partnership, one with Dubbo reinsman Tom Pay, who joined the Gemma and Mat Rue stable in 2017 and has achieved some impressive wins for the trainers since doing so.
"Tom's going really well, he's been working with Mat and I for two years now, and I think the better opportunities the better he can get to, it definitely started off a bit steady with us at first, but lately he's been getting some really nice drives and he's been making the most of it," Rue said.
Rock on NZ claimed second place after a lengthy post-race review of the finish with a 2.10m margin separating them, while Raineri NZ finished in third at 4.10m.
A rare dead heat was decided on in fourth place, with Steve Turnbull's Heza Slick Joe NZ and Peter Bullock's Swaggie Shannon crossing the finishing line together.
Earlier in the day, the heavily favourited Theagenes won the opening Odds and Evens Pace for Bernie Hewitt, with Hewitt doubling up on his success a race later in the Sky Racing Active Pace, winning with Gotta Kick and beating the Nathan Hurst trained Tulhurst Lover and Cuzin Pat.
Amy Rees drove Geoff Lawson's Alta Downs to success in the Long Water Hole Pace denying Bernie Hewitt a third straight win and forcing him into second.