Concerns about the Thoroughbred Park track kept Shoalhaven Heads trainer Terry Robinson away, but he timed his return to Canberra perfectly with Tingeera winning the Stayers Handicap (2000 metres) on Friday.
Robinson said he had not been to Canberra in about a year but he was glad to be back.
Street Spirit took up the early running and led until the top of the home straight when the runners started to come.
Robinson said the lift in pace with 800 metres to go had worked to the advantage of Tingeera, who finished over the top of the field after being second last coming round the home turn.
The Barbara Joseph/Paul Jones-trained Al Ahmar was a nose away in second, with Matthew Dale's Catalonia third.
Robinson said the synthetic Acton Track needing work had kept him away last winter but he had been drawn back by reports of the condition of the grass track this winter.
"I haven't been back here for a long time,'' Robinson said.
''We found the track was only fair for a while so we decided to give it a miss, but they tell me it's a lot better now so we decided to head back over.
"It'd have to be nearly a year ago. It's nice to get back here and nice to win a race.
"I've always liked coming over here, I've always had a little bit of luck here."
Robinson had been unsuccessfully trying to get Tingeera a win in the city, with a second at Canterbury the best result.
The son of Commands has won at provincial level at Kembla Grange and Hawkesbury.
Robinson decided to drop Tingeera back in class and it worked.
Hawkesbury will be the eight-year-old gelding's next target, with a possible return to Sydney after that.
"This horse does go all right, he's been racing in town and running honest races, but getting beat a fair way," Robinson said.
"Certainly a drop in class today. He has got his share of ability, but I always thought he'd win a race in town that's why I persevered there for a while but it got to the stage where we needed to try and win a race and it worked.
"He'll go to the provincials next week and if I can I'll try and win a mid-weeker [in Sydney] with him."
The trainer hoped Rose Of Man would put in a good run in the next race, a maiden plate (1000m), but she missed the kick and was almost six lengths back in third to Perizada.