Local trainer Joe McFadyen celebrated a "dream come true" when his runner Nangar Jim won the Group 2 East Maitland Bowling Club Maitland Gold Cup Final on Friday night.
"I'm not very often short for words. It's hard to describe. It's a dream come true literally. Years and years of hard work, ups and downs, thinking is this all worth it, then you have a good run, get a dog like him and now I'm a Group winning trainer," McFadyen told TheDogs.com.au website after the race.
"We didn't think he was this good. We've lifted the hurdles for him ever so slowly, and he just keeps jumping them.
"I don't know, I think he missed a little bit tonight and just the sheer speed that he's got. He was just good enough to get up on the outside and chop them off on the first turn and luck's a fortune and away he went.
"Thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way. I'm just so thankful for the life that I live with the dogs and get to do it, that in itself is a dream come true. I'm just ever so humble."
Mcfadyen was a hugely popular winner among the crowd at Maitland Showground who had been hoping that Nangar Jim would provide a breakthrough group 2 winner for the trainer.
After an electrifying start in the heats last week he was run down just before the post to finish runner-up, but fourth fastest qualifier overall.
This time he maintained the speed and had enough in the tank to win in a Gold Cup record time of 24.77s.
Mcfadyen has had several runners in group finals during the past 12 months including urricane Fury in the Black Top Final, Taree Cup Final and Chief Havoc Final, Sandstorm Rico in the Middle Distance Championship Final, Nangar Jim was runner-up in the Goulburn Cup Final, and in April Belmont Bullet was in the final of the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg, but this was the breakthrough win.
In the other big race on the night the Michelle Sultana trained Rinsed The Lot won the Ladbrokes Future Stars Maiden Final by six lengths from Starlight Banner with Furious a further 3/4 length away in third.
"He always showed us he had some ability, and bringing him here on trial days you never get the same time on a trial day as you do on raceday," Sultana told TheDogs.com.au
"It's very exciting. He's a very young dog that was probably just his fifth go over the 400m, so there's exciting times ahead."