Queensland’s Winter Carnival is the next stage in Expensive Ego’s rise to the top.

An effortless winner of tonight’s Australian Pacing Gold Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, Expensive Ego will return to trainer Belinda McCarthy’s New South Wales base before being readied for the northern trip.

McCarthy has set her sights on the inaugural Rising Sun with entire followed by the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake, with the trio programmed to be conducted at Albion Park in consecutive weeks.

The Rising Sun is first on July 10, with the Group One for three and four-year-olds shaping as easy pickings for Expensive Ego.

“He will come back home now do a few days in the water walker, then we’ll look for a race for him,” McCarthy said.

“He’ll have one start somewhere before we go to Queensland for the Rising Sun, but that’s it.

“In between he will stay pretty fresh.”

Driven by McCarthy’s husband Luke during his latest triumph, Expensive Ego worked to the lead from barrier four as early pacemaker, Jilliby Nitro, was eased to take a trail.

Striding clear of the pack around the home turn, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven was untouched on his way to a nine-and-a-half metre win from Pacifico Dream.

Mach Dan fought on gallantly to be five metres away third after racing in the ‘death seat’.

Rating 1:52.1 over 1720 metres, Expensive Ego took his record to 14 wins – including four Group Ones – and three seconds from 19 starts for earnings of $566,218.

“Once he got to the front and Mach Dan had to all the work outside us, I knew it would take a massive run to beat him,” Luke said.

“He felt strong the whole way and got to the line feeling as good as he did at the start.”