BRISBANE Jan 18 AAP - River Lad earned himself a trip to Sydney for the Group Two Expressway Stakes when he broke his Doomben duck on Saturday.
River Lad ($3.80) lumped 60.5kgs and "did everything wrong" but still beat Bymonashee ($3) by a neck with a 1/2 length to Bribie ($7.50) in the Sita Open (1200m).
The gelding is one of the most consistent performers in Queensland having now won 11 of his 33 starts but he had never won at Doomben in six previous efforts.
Trainer Natalie McCall said River Lad would now head to Sydney to contest the Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 8.
"He deserves a chance at a top race. He did everything wrong today. He wanted to pull, he hung and he really doesn't like Doomben," she said.
McCall, who trains her team on the Sunshine Coast, has never had a Sydney runner but is looking forward to the challenge.
"I have had a couple of runners across the border but that isn't Sydney. At least I will go there with a genuine hope," she said.
Meanwhile, beautifully bred gelding Renewed Vitality ($2.40) overcame problems on the home turn to score his fourth win when he beat Trakstar ($5.50) by three-quarters of a length in the Coca Cola Hcp (1600m).
A son of champion sire Redoutes Choice, Renewed Vitality had been labelled a non winner after going 847 days and 14 starts without a win.
However, Renewed Vitality showed at his previous start with a good second at Doomben that he could live up to his name.
Renewed Vitality had a wind operation last year but stable foreman Glen Thompson believes confidence is the key to his return to form.
"I think he is one of the better horses we have up here and can win some good races," Thompson said.