Moree-based trainer John Bourke was understandably emotional after winning the opening race at Inverell Jockey Club's Bush Battler's and Diggers Cups meet.
Charming Sam with Jacob Golden aboard surged through for Bourke to claim the 1050m Maiden Handicap by more than two lengths on Saturday.
Bourke, who spent most of his life in Inverell before heading west, hadn't been in the winner's circle since July 2021.
"I have had a break away from racing," he said.
"My daughter was very sick and passed away and I gave it away for quite a while so I couldn't tell you exactly when the last one was."
The win came via a horse Bourke has only had in his care "for a short period" of time.
The four-year-old mare was unplaced in her first five starts with coastal trainer Mitchell Fry.
But the change of scenery in heading out to Bourke's stables proved fruitful.
She finished second in Inverell by a nose in October before backing it up with the win on Saturday.
"I thought she won quite well, I am very happy with the run," Bourke said after the race.
"From when I got her, I think she is improving and getting used to the new system I am working from.
"My brother and a guy by the name of Andrew Gray own the mare, they had her with a trainer over on the coast, he decided not to go on with her and I said I will take her and give her a go.
"I have only given her the two starts, I have got the second and a win with her so she's paid for herself."
He isn't sure what he will do next with her but he will reassess in time.
The day's races saw celebrations all-round for North West trainers.
Tamworth's Kevin Dixon took out the main race of the day - the Bush Battler's Cup - with Indian Thunder.
The eight-year-old gelding romped home by three-and-a-half lengths to claim the trophy.
It was apprentice jockey Camille Houlgatte's third win for the day after snaring the Diggers Cup earlier in the day aboard Stephen Dixon's Sure Strategy.
Jacob Perrett took the win in the 1200m Maiden Plate with Ben Looker aboard.
Armidale trainer Stirling Osland and his stable apprentice Cassey Williams took the win in the Class 1 and Maiden Plate over 1600m.
Then Houlgatte claimed her second win for the day aboard Mark Ostini's Aurora Charm.
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