Toulon Brook isn't one of the horses Kody Nestor has going to the Country Championships Final but he showed what he was capable of at Narromine on Thursday.
A former Highway Handicap winner, Toulon Brook appeared one of Nestor's main hopes of Country Championships success but he had struggled for his best form this preparatoin.
There was promise shown when running sixth in the western qualifier at Coonamble last start - where stablemates Sneak Preview and Fast Talking ran one-two - and on Thursday he flew down to the outside late on to win the Kool Ice Benchmark 66 Handicap (1300m).
"He's been a horse I had an opinion of last preparation, enough that we took him to a Highway and he happened to win," Nestor told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
"I've been a bit disappointed with his runs this time in up until last time. I thought his run had a bit of merit in it."
The Dubbo trainer said there have been some minor issues for the son of Hinchinbrook this preparation but his strong finish on Thursday gives reason to be optimistic.
Nestor added a step up in distance is also likely now and that could suit as Toulon Brook ($6) overpowered Northern Lights ($3.60) and Supreme Attraction ($2.60) favourite.
Cooee March ($21) and Sipharderson ($10) had shown early speed and controlled proceedings early while I Stole Your Love ($8) and Northern Lights also sat towards the front.
Toulon Brook and Circus Dancer ($41) sat at the back of the field but Anthony Cavallo soon got Nestor's hope to move forward.
There was plenty to do heading towards the straight but Toulon Brook delivered in a big way to win from the equally strong-finishing Supreme Attraction.
"He got a bit of a bump at the 300 and I think it half-spurred him on," Nestor said.
"He might be better again next prep but I'm definitely going to step him up to a mile."