Chad Schofield wasted no time returning to the winner's circle after an enforced holiday with a victory aboard Blue Diamond hopeful Wawail at Caulfield.
Schofield had spent three weeks on the sidelines due to back-to-back careless riding suspensions but got on the board in the opening race on Wednesday.
The David Hayes-trained Wawail ($4) sat outside the lead in the Beveridge Williams Plate (1000m) and kicked clear in the slow conditions, holding off the Peter Snowden-trained Sakitto by three-quarters of a length with Jinx third.
"I had two consecutive suspensions and was out for the best part of three weeks," Schofield said.
"But on the plus side I had time to recharge and refresh after the spring carnival and I'm back now and looking forward to getting stuck into it again."
Hayes' Melbourne stable representative Lizzie Jelfs said the Blue Diamond Stakes would be the aim for Wawail, a daughter of Lonhro.
"She's had a very good preparation and has done nothing but impress us at home," Jelfs said.
"Obviously under race pressure we wanted to see how she would go but she has impressed us again today."
Hayes has won the Blue Diamond five times and Jelfs said Wawail was among the stable's leading contenders for next year's renewal of the race.
Wawail is likely to have a freshen-up at Hayes' Euroa property before being aimed towards the Blue Diamond in February.
Schofield is stable rider for Hayes and believes there is plenty of improvement to come from Wawail.
"She's just one of the many nice ones (in the stable). She came in today very fit and well educated. She's got a bright future," Schofield said.
Mark Zahra took riding honours at the meeting with a winning double in consecutive races aboard Under The Leaner and Prince Stratum.
However, his day was soured by a 16 meeting careless riding suspension which will begin after Saturday's Flemington meeting.
The training partnership of Terry and Karina O'Sullivan also went home with a winning double courtesy of Happy As Hell and Magnapal.