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King Montrose showed a liking for home turf as he provided the upset in the Stewards Stakes at Riccarton yesterday.
The 6-year-old gelding dominated the $100,000 group 3 race over 1200m, leading for much of the race and holding off Vincent Mangano by a length and a quarter.
Favourite Durham Town was third.
King Montrose (King's Chapel-Dorrington) took his record on the course to 17 starts, six wins and five placings with the win in 1min 9.23sec, paying $16.80.
Trainer and co-owner Neill Ridley, formerly of Oamaru, was hardly confident in the horse in his first appearance over the distance in two years.
"I didn't think he would be good enough," Ridley said.
"But we had a bit of rain, and a good draw and jockey helped."
Hayden Tinsley had his second race ride on King Montrose, who had finished third over 1000m in the Pegasus Stakes four days before the Stewards Stakes.
Durham Town, the winner of six of his 14 starts going into the race, finished strongly but had too much ground to make up.
• Wingatui gelding The Bodyguard grabbed a third placing from his first six starts with a third in the maiden race over 1200m at Riccarton.
The Paul Richards-trained 4-year-old finished strongly and was half a neck off second in his first race since May 15.