Veteran Moree trainer Peter Sinclair joked that Upstart has "run himself out of me" after the eight-year old added the $37,000 XXXX Gold Inverell Cup (1400m) to his impressive resume.
The 2019 Moree Cup winner was unfazed by carrying 62.5kg, bursting through in the straight and pulling away for an almost two length win over fellow Moree-trained Mysticism (Campbell Roberts).
It was the gelding's first win since he won four-in-a-row, culminating in his home Cup, and the 10th from 35 starts.
"I think he just run himself out of me," Sinclair commented to Sky Thoroughbred Central post-race.
Pressed on what he meant by that, he elaborated: "Where do we go now with the weight?".
Speaking pre-race, Sinclair had expressed some concern about Upstart's lack of racing.
After finishing seventh of nine in his first start back from a 61-week spell at Coffs Harbour in late November, he had left him with Coffs trainer Brett Dodson hoping to get a couple more runs into him over there.
But that never eventuated.
First the Ballina race he had intended to start him in didn't get up due to a lack of nominations and then thinking that the Lismore meeting scheduled for December 22 wouldn't go ahead because of all the rain the coast had received (it did go ahead) they brought him home.
"I said the other day to Brett, we've done the wrong thing, and he said 'look all the pain will be eased when he wins the Inverell Cup', so he was spot on," Sinclair said.
The top weight by more than 3kg and drawing a tricky gate, he remarked on the Starcraft (NZ)-Cannarelle gelding's toughness.
Jockey Matthew McGuren shared similar sentiments with Sky Thoroughbred Central post-race.
"Finishing Card, I won a couple on him; he carried 63.5 one year to win it. This bloke he's not quite as big as Finishing Card but he's got a heart just the same size," he said.
A couple of lengths back from the lead heading into the straight, he said when he asked him for that extra effort he found something.
"He didn't travel all that great. Bugalugs can run along and he's a tough horse too, and I thought I was going to struggle to get past him but I got passed him sooner than I thought," he said.
Sinclair had elected not to claim, opting instead for the experienced McGuren for what he described to Tony Megahey prior to the race as "a cunning old horse."
"You've got to stand over him, he's a lazy old fella, but he's a good horse," Sinclair said.
McGuren's third or fourth Inverell Cup, he was full of praise for Sinclair and the job he had done with the gelding. He had previously ridden him back when he was with Maryann Brosnan.
"It's just a credit to him to turn him around and win these races," he said.
"And big shout out to Brookey Stower. This is her horse."
He joked that he's "only got him on loan" while Stower is out injured.
Sinclair also paid credit to the Toowoomba jockey. She was the one that "made him want to race again".
Upstart's win made it a double to celebrate the start of the new year for the pair with Solar Panel saluting two races earlier.