The Graham Payne-trained Kentucky Flyer led all the way to claim the 37th Jungle Juice Cup (1350 metres) at Cessnock on Friday.
The $4-favourite won by a length over the Wayne Wilkes-trained Sniponet.
Newcastle trainer Steve Hodge had a winning double with Adele’s Joy and Ghibli.
Meanwhile, Muswellbrook trainer Mark Schmetzer hopes a win by Majestic Pedrille in the Highway Handicap at Randwick will pave the way for the Kosciuszko next year.
Schmetzer was disappointed not to make Saturday's $1.3 million Kosciuszko field with Love None or Majestic Pedrille.
"We're hoping for the best. It would be good to win as it was our plan B to the Kosciuszko," Schmetzer said.
"Majestic Pedrille's work has been the best ever. I couldn't fault her. She hasn't raced on a heavy track but has raced her best races on soft. She's bred for heavy."
The five-year-old is by champion Lonhro which won eight from nine starts on soft tracks and was placed at his two stars on heavy.
The mare has had four starts on soft tracks for a third and two wins, the latest on her home track in early September.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting an 80 per cent chance of rain at Randwick on Saturday and the track rating sits at a heavy 9 on Friday.
Schmetzer has stables near Muswellbrook Racetrack, with the area one of the worst hit during the NSW drought.
"It's taken a toll on everyone," he said. "Everything's gone up a lot. Someone told me feed was nearly up 300 per cent.”