He may not have been racing in career-best form but seasoned stayer Spechenka lifted when it mattered most in winning the A$150,000 ($192,000) Queen's Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Racing on a seven-day back-up following his fourth in last week's Caloundra Cup, Spechenka ($9) settled at the rear of the field and took all the short cuts in the run home to win the time-honoured 3200m event by 1 lengths.
Winning trainer Ben Ahrens said he never lost confidence his stable star would return to the form that netted him a Summer Cup at Randwick and he pulled off a masterstroke by adding a tongue tie to the six-year-old gelding.
"I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for him and he's been a marvellous horse for my career," Ahrens said.
Favourite backers were counting their winnings when Maythehorsebemagic ($2.30) reached the front in the straight but he was quickly under siege when Spechenka ranged up inside the 200m.
Maythehorsebemagic battled on to hold down second with Toowoomba gelding Fantastic Blue running on well to finish, three lengths back third.
Meanwhile, the Gerald Ryan-trained sprinter Adnocon continued his love affair with Queensland when he stormed to victory in the A$80,000 Ascot Handicap (1200m).
Adnocon has won two Eye Liner Stakes and two Glasshouse Handicaps in previous Queensland campaigns and the six-year-old added to that record when he powered to a 1-length victory in the Listed sprint.
Winning rider Damian Browne was at his patient best on Adnocon ($3.10) and he allowed the horse to settle worse than midfield before unleashing a powerful finish in the straight to nail The Sixties ($6) with Bold Glance ($10) a nose back third. Lightning struck twice for six-year-old Glaneuse at Flemington on Saturday as the Michael O'Leary-trained gelding became the first dual winner of the Winter Championship Final.
Glaneuse started at the same $31 quote as he did 12 months ago and stuck his neck out at the right time to take out the $150,000 Listed feature in its 33rd running.
Glaneuse came down the outside under his regular jockey Linda Meech to defeat Galileo Gold ($11) by a short half head with a head to There's Only One ($6.50) in third.
Meech first rode Glaneuse to win the 2010 Donald Cup and she was thrilled to claim back-to-back Winter Championship Finals. "He's a beautiful horse to ride," Meech said.