Australia's leading driver Nathan Dawson provided Victorian racegoers with a glimpse of his considerable talent when he steered the pacing-bred Not As Promised to an upset win in the Group 1 Haras des Trotteurs Victoria Trotters Derby Final at Maryborough.
Fresh from taking out the Australian Drivers' Championship in Launceston last weekend, Dawson produced a gem of a drive aboard the $41 chance from an awkward second row alley.
Not As Promised settled buried towards the rear on the pegs before Dawson circled the field to join leader and $2.50 favorite Lovemeto with a lap to travel.
Dawson's charge trotted to the lead on straightening and appeared set for a comfortable win before the rank outsider Prince Of Rock ($151) emerged from the pack to give chase.
Prince Of Rock gathered in the leader over the concluding stages, however the winning post loomed too soon and Not As Promised got the verdict by a short half head with an unlucky The Locomotive two metres away third in a mile rate of 1:59.6.
Dawson admitted the race didn't pan out as he expected.
"I didn't really see it playing out that way, but a lot of the good ones were tucked away along the pegs. So I made the most of that, and if I was good enough so be it," Dawson said.
"I wasn't worried about the trip, it was just about getting a good run and it worked out well for us."
The winner is trained by Graham Dwyer in Brisbane and it appears Victorians will have the opportunity to see more of the son of Betting Line.
"It was more to see what he did today, but I'm sure after that he will be staying down here," Dawson said.
The standing start tapes held no fears for New Zealand filly High Step, who emulated the deeds of her mother by taking out the Aldebaran Park Redwood Classic earlier in the day.
Having her first try from the stand in race conditions, High Step ($2 fav) stepped both cleanly and swiftly to easily find the lead, and from then on the result was never in doubt.
When Greg Sugars allowed the daughter of Father Patrick more rein on the home turn, she bounded away in the stretch to win by eight metres over Nordic Reign with Link In Bio third.
It is the second successive mother-daughter Redwood Classic victory.
High Gait, the dam of High Step, was crowned the Redwood champion in 2015, and Elusive Charm, the dam of last year's winner Cognati, took out the race in 2009.
Sugars said High Step possesses the enviable assets of both manners and ability.
"The Redwood is usually won by the horse with the best manners and the most talent, and this year I was pretty confident that I had the horse with both," Sugars said.
High Step lowered her colours at her previous start when runner-up behind Kyvalley Maven in the Tatlow Stakes.
"When we came away and analysed it, we certainly weren't disappointed with the run behind a pretty smart trotter," he said.
Bred by Breckon Farms and trained by Mark and Nathan Purdon, High Step is booked on a flight to return home to New Zealand on Tuesday.