Waikato Stud mare Queen Leonora bounced back into the winner's circle  at Bendigo on Thursday with a 7-day back-up highlighted as the key to her victory.

After successive placings which included a nose defeat last week at Sale, trainer Danny O'Brien decided to back-up the Savabeel mare and she duly saluted in an epic battle in the 2200m BM64 event.

"She is a tough honest mare and this did look her race. In the summer her best performance came on a 6-day back-up, so we were confident that this was the right move with her" O'Brien said.

"(Jockey) Brett (Prebble) gave her an excellent ride and the first two really did clear out on the rest of the field so it was a good performance."

O'Brien was confident the mare would continue holding her form and said he was looking forward to trying her over futher.

"She was still going strong on the line and we know with Savabeels, they get better with age so I think her best is still head of her."

 Pic by Racing Photos