Greg Ryan produced a cool and calm performance in the saddle and then said he was happy to be racing in Orange rather than elsewhere around the state during a scorcher on Friday.
Ryan took out Friday's $22,000 McSigns Orange Maiden Plate (1280m) with the Gary Portelli-trained Grazie.
Grazie had endured a mixed start to his career but there was plenty of support around the three-year-old gelding heading into Friday's event.
Champion jockey Ryan was feeling positive about his chances and it showed as $4.80 hope Grazie was able to hold off $2.50 favourite Too Much Class.
Grazie's preparation leading into Friday was a curious one as a second-placed finish at Canberra was sandwiched between a pair of eight-placed efforts but based on what Ryan had seen on the film, he thought he'd have a chance if presented with a decent enough run.
"He failed badly at Wyong last start before today but the start before, he ran second," Ryan said.
"The horse that beat him went on to win three on the trot so there was some sort of hope here today.
"With the scratchings we thought he had a good chance. He's a bit immature in the mind and last start he beat himself by throwing his head about but fortunately today they ran fast enough for me to keep him under control."
Grazie was boxed awkwardly at gate 11 and spent the duration of the journey three or four wide - sometimes without cover - but when it peeled to the outside at the turn, was able to round up the leaders for a narrow win.
Grazie won by a neck from Ciaran Maher and David Eustace's Too Much Class while Manadria ($21), from the Dubbo stables of Janelle Galea, produced a fine run to finish in third.
Ryan tipped Grazie to improve next preparation but added Friday's run was no surprise given he comes from Portelli's highly-regarded stables at Warwick Farm.
"They're a professional stable and they're going to be as prepared as they can be," Ryan said.
"After that it's just up to the jockey and the horse. It's good he won his maiden and we'll see how he measures up from here on in."
As for the conditions of the track? Well, Ryan was stoked.
"I'm blessed to be here at Orange and not somewhere like Dubbo... it's a few degrees cooler here which I'm thankful for," he said.
While Portelli was on the board early there was also success for a number of western area trainers at the Orange track.
Dubbo trainer Michael Lunn had plenty of reason to celebrate as he landed an early double with tough duo Yak and Club Town while Nyngan's Rodney Robb also succeeded with Matter Of Factor.