Former jockey turned trainer Kody Nestor made a sneaky return to the track at Dubbo Turf Club on Easter Sunday but in a way, not many could have expected.
Nestor returned to racing on Sunday after leaving the sport in November 2021 for some time off and the was in the saddle riding several races across the day.
Dubbo trainer Brett Robb a good friend of Nestor's and told Sky Thoroughbred Central it was great to see the latter back on track.
"He rode a trial for me the other day, he had a big blow though," he said.
"I said 'when are you going to ride for me?' and he said 'I need a couple of weeks to get fit'.
"Then I heard he was coming here today and I rang him to ask if he was going to ride for me but he said 'no, I'm not riding for you, you are too hard'."
Nestor rode Barry The Poet for Brett Thompson in the Omni Building Group Maiden Handicap (1300m) before riding Mishani Vandal in the Marty Nelson Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Maiden Plate (1000m) for Cindy Monaghan.
The jockey's best result of the day came in the Ronald McDonald House Charity Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m), finishing sixth on Grant Marshall's Achi Baba.
It was also Nestor's first since 2017, which also came at Dubbo Turf Club riding a winner and third place on the day.
He rode a trial for me the other day, he had a big blow though.- Brett Robb on Kody Nestor
California Fox ($8) finished first in the Ronald McDonald House Charity Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m) with Ken Dunbar riding the Ashley Gibson trained horse brilliantly to win by over two-and-a-half lengths.
Earlier in the day, Dubbo trainer Darren Hyde had a winner on his home track with Driving Force taking out the Maccas 40 Years in Dubbo Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
Aaron Bullock was in the saddle for Hyde, with Driving Force ($7.50) winning in a photo-finish ahead of Kora Magic ($2.80) and Shooting Zaa ($3.50), in what was the closest race of the day.
Clayton Gallagher had his second win of the day in the Maccas Chicken Deluxe Class 3 Handicap (1400m).
Gallagher rode Craig Martin's Demeurer ($3.40) to a win to go along with his victory earlier in the day on Connie Greig's Individualist in the Wheel-Conn Crete Maiden Handicap (1300m).
Robb had a winner of his own in the Maccas Spicy Chicken Class 2 Handicap (1600m), as All Words ($4) was the first to the line.
Greig's Easter Sunday was also a good one as Billy Bent Bar picked up a win at Back O' Bourke Picnic Race Club.
Greig's gelding ran in the Bourke Bowling Club Open Trophy Handicap (800m) and was too good for the rest of the field, winning by more than three lengths ahead of Wayne Marsden's Rebecca's Quest and Three Rar.
Nyngan trainer Rodney Robb won the Splashe Cola Harry Hart Memorial Picnic Cup (1600m) with Knee Slapper.
In one of the closer races of the day, Knee Slapper ($8) narrowly edged out Marsden's Allez Rev for the win by a nose while Greig's Gossip ran a respectable third place.
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