Greg Ryan exited the jockey room at Dubbo Turf Club on Sunday afternoon, saw Steamin' walking around the yard and immediately had a good feeling.
Ryan knew what the Mick Mulholland-trained gelding was capable of, having ridden him to victory in last month's Forbes Cup, but he'd also been in the saddle when the eight-year-old was below his best in a last-start fifth-placed finish at Mudgee.
But it just took one look on Sunday to fill Ryan with confidence and his faith was justified as Steamin' took out the $100,000 Dubbo City Toyota Dubbo Gold Cup.
"He didn't feel the same horse I'd been riding at Mudgee," Ryan said of the last start.
"He felt a bit flat and that run was probably a little bit short for him.
"But I was really happy when I walked out of the jockey's room and saw the horse. He'd just seem to come on terrifically from the Mudgee run.
"He was a different horse to ride today compared to Mudgee."
Ryan produced another masterful performance in the saddle on Sunday, getting Steamin' from second last to a lovely run along the rails in the straight.
In one of four wins on the day for the champion hoop, Steamin' took out the rich feature by one-and-a-quarter lengths from Magic Over The Bay ($19) and Chivadahlii ($9.50).
This year marked the first since Racing NSW boosted the prize-money to triple figures and Wellington trainer Mulholland was thrilled to have scored the win.
"That was good. I need the money," Mulholland said.
"I'm on the farm and feeding a shit load of cattle and this will help a lot.
"I'm doing it tough but all the bush people are doing it tough here."
Mulholland and Malcolm Brown own the horse which was bought roughly a year ago with one eye on the riches of the Dubbo Gold Cup.
His first preparation for the Wellington trainer produced placings at the Sandy Hollow Cup in Muswellbrook and Warren's Cotton Cup but he's been able to find the next level this time out.
Ryan was in the saddle when Steamin' won in open company at Dubbo Turf Club in July and that was followed by victory in the Forbes Cup.
The two slightly disappointing runs followed, by Mulholland and Ryan produced the best of Steamin' when it mattered.
"It was just a good win and a great ride from Greg Ryan. How can you beat him?" Mulholland added.
The winning jockey also had plenty of praise for the trainer, who's persisted with Steamin' and been forced to deal with a number of niggling issues.
Those issues have seen results mixed at times but overall Steamin' has now scored three wins and two placings for Mulholland.
Going from out in gate 10, Steamin' settled deep in the field while $4.60 favourite Sugar Dance set a strong pace up front along with Any Blinkin' Day ($31) and Cowboys Karma ($6).
Sugar Dance kicked to a lead of two-and-a-half lengths heading into the turn for home as Ryan began to work his way forward.
He managed to get his way to the rails and from there is was smooth sailing, as he overhauled the leader and held a raft of challengers late on.
"He drew wide and always gets back and we were about second last but he was always comfortable and the race was being run at a cracking tempo," Ryan said.
"The tempo really helped the horse come from second last and he was lucky enough to get a good run along the rail.
"But he's not a sound-legged horse and Mick is constantly having to work on him and keep his legs iced and sound so full credit goes to him."
As well as taking out the main event, Ryan also won with Kody Nestor's Fast Talking, the Rodney Northam-trained Harbouring, and Under The Thumb from the stables of Sue Grills.