JOCKEY Dylan Caboche returned to race riding the best way possible, more than a year after a trackwork accident.
Caboche rode Whipcracker Way to victory in the first race of the Sale meeting on Friday.
In early February last year, Caboche was trampled on by a horse at trackwork in Adelaide, tearing the ACL, PCL, MCL and meniscus in one of his knees. The injury required two knee reconstructions.
In his first race ride, in the 1206 metre maiden plate, Caboche rode Whipcracker Way, trained at Pakenham by Phillip Stokes, at the front of the field and accelerated late to win by two lengths from favourite Lighthorse Lad.
It was the three-year-old gelding's first race start.
"My boss put me on a good one first up and it's good to get the monkey off the back straight away," Caboche told Racing.com.
Harpers Bight, ridden by Ben Thompson for Sale trainer Mario Farrugia, came third.
With the track beginning as a "good four" but downgraded to "soft five", Friday was a good day for trainers based at Moe.
The closest finish of the day was between horses trained by Allison Bennett at Moe.
Chica Mala and Mr Charisma were close to each other for most of race five, the Grand Handicap Classic Ballot Exempt over 2226m, moving together on the bend and creating a match race in the home straight. Chica Mala, ridden by Campbell Rawiller, won by a nose.
Heeza Force, trained by Colin Butcher at Sale and ridden by Will Price, finished well on the inside to place third, less than a length off the first two.
Race seven, the benchmark 58 handicap over 1615m, was won by Springer, trained by Craig Blacksaw, who has operations at Pakenham and Moe.
Ridden by Price, the six-year-old won narrowly from Our Volantis, from the Hayes-Dabenig stable, paying $16.70 at the tote. It was just the second win for Springer, following back-to-back third placings.
The Great Bratski, trained by Christine Sexton at Moe and ridden by Zac Spain, won the final race, the benchmark 58 handicap over 1106m.
Favourite Sierra Sue won race two, the three-year-old fillies maiden over 1106m, on debut.
Trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young at Cranbourne and ridden by Michael Walker, the three-year-old Kiwi filly outran Beatrix, trained by Tony Noonan at Mornington and ridden by Jake Noonan, with Grey Mink third.
After well-backed runners won the first two races, Caldwell, trained by Clinton McDonald at Caulfield and ridden by Spain, claimed race three, 1615m maiden plate.
Paying $35.80 at the tote, the four-year-old gelding won the sprint to the post ahead of Flensberg, trained by James Cummings and ridden by Brad Rawiller.
Flying Mr Davis, trained by Michael Moroney at Flemington, won race four, the 2226m maiden plate.
Coming off three consecutive placings in races over more than 2000m this preparation, the four-year-old gelding was ridden patiently by Michael Dee and ran clear in the straight to win by one and a half lengths from Haven Road, which led for most of the race.
Race six, the benchmark 58 handicap over 1415m, was won by Booze Free, trained by Michael Ryan at Cranbourne and ridden by Chris Symons.
The seven-year-old gelding settled at the back, worked around the field and finished strongly down the middle of the track to win by three-quarters of a length from Of Cecilia.
Racing will resume at this Friday.