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Wallace (52) did not hold back in his celebrations when he reined home the Bruce Negus-trained Hudson Sully in the amateur drivers' mobile pace at Waimate yesterday, saluting the crowd as he crossed the line after enjoying a soft run throughout the 2600m.
The race was run in a very leisurely 2min 13.9sec, but that did not matter to Wallace.
The former professional driver collected nine wins for the likes of Derek Jones but had not enjoyed success in an official totalisator race since the 2002-03 season until Don't Tell Jim won an amateur drivers' race at Motukarara in September.
However, Wallace missed out on all the trappings associated with winning that day, as the race was won in the inquiry room, with Little Joe being relegated from first to 10th, pushing Don't Tell Jim from second up to first.
''I never had the weigh-in, or the salute or anything.''
A lack of drives forced Wallace to give away regular driving and focus on his main employment as a freezing worker. He has kept his hand in over the past 10 years, racking up 60 drives before giving amateur driving a go, as well as working for a variety of trainers during the off-season.
''I work for [Canterbury trainer] Nigel McGrath at the moment and he had me on [about becoming an amateur driver], saying `Go and do it.' He kept winding me up and I did it.
''When you're working the horses every day, you always want to drive at the races.''
By Matt Smith.