After her meritorious fifth in the Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) in May, the Perth-bred daughter of former Singapore champion three-year-old Gingerbread Man had not been seen on a racecard again.
It turned out she had succumbed to one of the commonest equine ailments – chips, and had to subsequently go under the knife.
The three-time winner recovered. To Michael Clements' assistant-trainer Michael White, the post-operative rest came with extra benefits.
"The chip surgery she had sometime in the middle of last year turned out to be a blessing in disguise," said the Australian horseman.
"It actually gave her the opportunity to have a good break. She needed one and she's come back a bigger and stronger mare.
"She's always had heaps of ability, but we knew she would feel the pinch late at her first-up run."
Partnered for the first time by three-kilo claimer Nizar Mohammad, Gingerella ($10) effortlessly strode into second spot and looked to be cruising when she bounded up to race-leader Lim's Dream (Benny Woodworth) at the top of the straight.
But it was nowhere near game over. Though collared and headed, Lim's Dream gathered a second momentum on her inside.
A ding-dong battle ensued between the two leading protagonists who had steadily detached themselves from the rest, with Gingerella fighting back gamely to hold down a neck margin all the way to the line.
Muraahib (Juan Paul van der Merwe) let down late to grab third place another 2 ½ lengths away. Gingerella clocked the smart time of 58.29secs for the 1000m on the Polytrack.
"We will aim for the better class races for her. She ran a good race in the Lion City Cup when she was not ready last year and that's where she might be heading again," said White.
The win gave Nizar another fillip after he opened his 2020 account with Mikcaipho on January 4.
"I've seen her races and I've also done my homework. It was a straightforward race," said the local apprentice jockey indentured to trainer Saimee Jumaat.
"I was told to go forward but to let go if anyone goes crazy. She was relaxed and I did my best on her and she ran home nicely for the win."
Raced by Joe Singh, Gingerella has now made in excess of $210,000 in prizemoney from her stellar record of four wins and two seconds from seven starts.