Four-year-old Irish Songs has fulfilled an ambition for Goulburn trainer Kurt Goldman with victory in the Wagga Town Plate.
Goldman was confident Irish Songs would win Thursday's $160,000 Town Plate (1200m), the feature race on the opening day of the annual two-day racing carnival at Wagga Wagga in the NSW Riverina.
And the gelding did not let his trainer down, sprinting to a 1-1/4 length success over the $3.40 favourite Southern Lad on a heavy track with Man Of Peace another 1-1/2 lengths away third.
Goldman said the Town Plate was a race he had long wanted to win.
"I snuck into this racecourse when I was about 17 years old, underage," Goldman told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
"I'll admit it. I was drinking. I was gambling. I was running through the betting ring thinking I knew everything.
"It's the only race I've ever wanted to win.
"People say, what's that one race? And this Town Plate is something I've been chasing for 16 years. I've never had a runner in it.
"We thought about putting Eckstein here. We had Hellbent one year, we could easily have gone down that path.
"But I knew I had the right horse today."
Irish Songs won the Moruya Town Plate at his previous start and his victory on Thursday took his record to five wins and six thirds from 21 starts.
With Kayla Nisbet aboard, Irish Songs was worse than midfield early before creeping closer with a three-wide trail behind Fell Swoop.
He let down strongly in the straight to hit the front approaching the 100m and Southern Lad could not bridge the gap.
Goldman said he had always thought Irish Songs had stakes-class ability and could win a good race.
A trip to Queensland is a consideration while longer-term Goldman said a crack at The Kosciuszko for NSW country-trained horses in Sydney in spring would be a possibility.
The feature on Friday is the Listed Wagga Wagga Gold Cup, with early favourite Greysful Glamour already a scratching because of the unsuitable heavy conditions.
Godolphin's Best Of Days is also scratched from the Cup.