COUNTRY racing returned to the South Burnett for 2013 on Saturday afternoon as the Nanango Races got underway with sweltering conditions a backdrop to the on-track action.
Punters who braved the summer heat enjoyed a top-class day of regional racing which included the Scott Pedron-trained gelding Blackgold winning on its home track after taking out the Nanango Gas Suppliers Benchmark 65 Handicap.
The Pedro- trained Forshot finished third in the Nanango Foodworks Class B Handicap.
The four race meeting got underway with Toowoomba-trained Hidden Starlet winning by half a length from Oakey trained Flash Apache in the Three Way Photos Class 1 Handicap (800m).
The racing action continued with Oakey-trained Mr Deekay winning the BP Roadhouse Nanango Maiden Plate (1200m) after leading home Sunshine Coast's Miss Mookychick and Gympie's Gems Tatt.
Nanango-trained Blackgold made it a meeting to remember, winning the Nanango Gas Suppliers Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m) by just 0.2 lengths from Toowoomba's Sweet Hussy.
The fourth and final race of the day saw Oakey-trained Hot Chocolat hold off Gympie trained Wild Rumours by half a length to win the Nanango Foodworks Class B Handicap (1600m).
Nanango Race Day placings. Race 1: 1. Hidden Starlet (Toowoomba). 2.Flash Apache (Oakey). 3.Casual Connections (Warwick).
Race 2: 1.Mr Deekay (Oakey). Miss Mookychick (Sunshine Coast). 3. Gems Tatt (Gympie). Race 3: 1. Blackgold (Nanango) 2.Sweet Hussy (Toowoomba). 3.Lion Beauty (Toowoomba). Race 4: 1.Hot Chocolat (Oakey) 2.Wild Rumours (Gympie) 3.Forshot (Nanango).
BLACKGOLD had a home debut to remember.
The Nanango-trained gelding won in his first ever race at Lee Park after leading the field home in the Nanango Gas Supplies Benchmark 65 Handicap.
The six-year-old had previous wins at Sale, Taroom and Toowoomba since 2010 before Saturday's victory over 1200m.
Nanango-based trainer Scott Pedron had overseen Blackgold from December 2011 to January 2012 during which the gelding won at Taroom and Toowoomba.
Blackgold then went to another trainer in February before returning to the Pedron stable just seven weeks ago.
The gelding's win on Saturday was his first race since August 11 at Toowoomba.
Winning trainer Pedron was pleased for Blackgold to win in his first race back in the Nanango stable.
"I thought it was a really good win in his first race back after a long break," he said.
"It's probably the most satisfying of the three wins I've had with him after having him taken off me and then winning first race back, it was the best win on that merit."
Pedron explained the advantages which helped the six year old to victory on Saturday.
"The biggest thing was not having to travel in the heat ... he only had to walk out of the stables," he said.
"He really enjoys the jockey who was on him (Ian Coombes) and we've combined for three wins from three starts."
Pedron said he was looking forward to what the future brings for his race-winning gelding.
Blackgold currently has four wins and eight placings from 29 career starts.