Jim Cassidy's reunion with Steps In Time reaped immediate rewards at Randwick on Saturday with the pair combining for an all-the-way victory in the Group Three Bill Ritchie Handicap.
The John O'Shea-trained mare was unplaced at her first two starts this campaign with James McDonald aboard but Cassidy jumped back on in the 1400m event and his aggressive tactics paid off.
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Steps In Time held off Said Com by 1-1/4-lengths with a nose to Wild And Proud third.
The victory delivered a race-to-race double for Cassidy after he claimed the Tea Rose Stakes aboard Longport, who was awarded the race on protest over Norzita.
Steps In Time maintained her unbeaten record third-up from a spell while Cassidy has now ridden the mare five times for four wins.
"I've said it all along, that I've been really happy with the way she's going but it just hasn't been reflected on raceday," O'Shea said.
"She's got a wonderful record third-up and did a good bit of work from the half-mile (800m mark) so it was tremendous for her to hold on."
O'Shea praised the effort of Cassidy, who got to the front and then increased the tempo from well before the turn which proved a winning move.
"He (Cassidy) has been a wonderful asset to our stable. He rides them like we like them to be ridden, nice and aggressive, and it was a wonderful ride again today," O'Shea said.
O'Shea had originally planned to take Steps In Time to the Group One Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield next week but shelved those ambitions after her unplaced run in the Tramway Handicap.
"I just couldn't go down there with any confidence," O'Shea said.
The mare is now likely to head to the Group Two Tristarc Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup day.