AN extended break in the spelling paddock could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Bendigo-trained galloper Star Darci.
The Shaun Dwyer-trained four-year-old broke its maiden status in impressive style at Bendigo on Thursday, winning by three lengths.
Star Darci was first-up from a 44-week spell after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips.
"The vet had to take out more cartilage than first expected and we had to give the horse six months out,'' Dwyer said.
"That gave the horse more time out and he's come back in a much more mature horse.
"He looks a very capable type and he won very well today."
Ridden by Michael Rodd, Star Darci settled in fourth place before making a three-wide run coming around the home turn.
The son of Darci Brahma cruised past the leaders and burst clear in the straight to win comfortably.
"Michael (Rodd) was very happy with the horse and he said we'd win more races with him,'' Dwyer said.
"I think the horse will come into his own when he gets out to 2000m."
Dwyer said Star Darci's next run was likely to be at Bendigo on August 13.
Meanwhile, Offshore Echo's consistent form continued when it took out the feature event of the day the $30,000 Showcase 78 Handicap (1400m).
The seven-year-old relished the heavy conditions to win by just under a length from the fast-finishing Dash For Viz and the Rod Symons-trained Kings Palace.
Offshore Echo has won three of its past six starts and been placed twice.
The horse with the most upside at the meeting appears to be Gangnam Style.
The Nikki Burke-trained speedster demolished its rivals in the Woodside Park Stud Handicap (1100m), winning by six lengths from Bendigo galloper Alberti.