David O’Prey has ended the longest drought of his 24-year career.
Tubbs Gift ($12) snared Wangaratta’s opening race, the Maiden Plate over 2000m, from Dazzling Rain ($6.50) and outsider Prince Sava ($61).
The Tim Donnelly-trained One O’Clock ($3.30F) finished second last.
It was O’Prey’s first win in 546 days, since Jay Vee Elle saluted at Corowa on July 5, 2016.
“They’ve been racing well and you just need luck, so you just take them when they come,” he said of his Wodonga stable.
The four-year old was coming off a three-week break after equalling her best finish with a third placing at Albury on December 9.
“She’s always showed that she’d get out to a bit of a trip,” O’Prey said.
“Stepping up to 2000 for the first time this prep, I thought she might have been vulnerable, but she had a gun ride by up and coming young apprentice Lachlan King.
“He put her in a great spot from a reasonable barrier and she was strong at the end.”
Connections claimed $12,100 for the win.
Meanwhile, hometown trainer Adrian Corboy led Pintang Prince ($31) to victory in the second race (1170m), from Paris Gem ($31) and Oriental Gift ($2.80F).
And Wodonga’s Sylvia Thompson made it a hat-trick for the region with Warragul ($3.30) winning the third race, from Another McCloud ($10) and the John-Chris Ledger-trained St Paul’s Bay ($2.50F).
Thompson also grabbed second in the seventh race.