Jack Hanson's association with Redcar racecourse stretches back over 50 years and he was on track to welcome back his Forget Me Not Lane after the John Smith's Redcar Straight-Mile Handicap.
Trained by Kevin Ryan, the three-year-old was having just the fourth start of his career in the qualifier of a series which culminates with a final on October 6.
Ridden by Graham Lee, who has made a great start to his career as a Flat jockey, his supporters will have been worrying two furlongs out.
But the 7-1 chance appears to have stamina in abundance and Forget Me Not Lane stuck to the task in game fashion to beat My Guardian Angel by a neck.
"I came today because I don't live far away, I don't go racing much now," said Hanson.
"I used to train, I had over 600 winners, the best I had was a horse called Frankie who finished fourth in the Guineas and ran some good races.
"I won the Zetland Gold Cup in 1961 and I served on the board of directors here for over 40 years."
Joe O'Gorman, Ryan's assistant, said of the winner: "He's a nice horse but he's a big baby.
"That's his minimum trip, in time he'll want further.
"I'm delighted he's won for the owner as he's a wonderful man."
Ryan doubled up with Lexi The Princess (7-2 favourite) in the Racing UK On Channel 432 Maiden Claiming Stakes.
Jamesbo's Girl went clear, but Franny Norton always looked confident and ran out a half-length winner.
The winner had been tailed off at Chester last time out.
"I think she got frightened at Chester, the crowd are so close," said O'Gorman.
Danny Tudhope won the first two races on Hiddon Coin (15-8 favourite) and Liliargh (6-4 favourite).
Hiddon Coin was a ready winner of the Follow Redcarracing On Facebook And Twitter Median Auction Maiden Stakes for David O'Meara, having finished fourth on debut at Thirsk.
"He was drawn in the middle at Thirsk and raced on his own and he didn't really know what he was there for," said O'Meara.
"Obviously he was a bit wiser today and I think the extra furlong has helped him, too.
"Although, saying that, I think he'd have won at five today."
Liliargh was another winner for the Middleham Park Racing syndicate when Ben Haslam's filly prevailed by a length in the Win A VIP Day Out @ redcarracing.co.uk Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
"She wants the ground softer really and we just got away with it," said Haslam.
"She'll be a nice horse in time. Probably over a mile in soft ground.
"That was a bad race so she can't be rated much higher than 70, I'd have thought.
"You won't see her again now until the autumn when the ground is back in her favour."
Bedloe's Island showed a smart turn of foot to land the Voltigeur Restaurant £10.95 Two Course Special Handicap.
Sent off the 2-1 favourite, after having run a fine race at York last Thursday from out of the handicap, the Neville Bycroft-trained and Michael O'Connell-ridden seven-year-old won by two and a half lengths for a third course win.
Bycroft's assistant Seb Spencer said: "He likes it here, I think that's his third win.
"I don't think we'll run him with a penalty, we tried to run him back quick last year and he bled."
Lady Kashaan (10-1) swooped fast and late to claim the first division of the Yorkshire Racing Summer Festival 21st-29th July Handicap in the hands of Andrew Elliott.
Winning trainer Alan Swinbank said: "She only cost a grand and she's by the same sire as Bonfire (Manduro)."
Fine Altomis, the Michael Dods-trained 2-1 favourite, fended off the determined challenge of Penang Pegasus to take division two under Tom Eaves.