High-priced three-year-old Appraise is a small step closer to paying for himself after an impressive maiden win at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
The Needs Further gelding brought the third top price at the 2017 Tasmanian Magic Millions yearling sale, knocked down to Longford trainer John Blacker for $90,000.
Blacker syndicated him to a large group of owners who would have been happy to see him open his account at only his second start.
He raced greenly, as he did on debut, but accounted for the promising A Tad More by 1-¼ lengths with Tambros Bobby a further 3-¼ lengths away third.
Blacker said that a wide barrier had forced Craig Newitt to ride Appraise further forward than he would have preferred.
“I’m sure he will settle better when we can ride him back a bit but he’s drawn awkwardly at both starts so that hasn’t been an option,” the trainer said.
“He let down OK tonight but he doesn’t completely know what to do yet.
“Being by Needs Further he should stay and I think he’ll be better suited when he gets to 1600m but he has to learn to settle a bit more.”
Blacker is targeting the 1600m Tasmanian Guineas in Hobart in January.
Appraise’s half sister Moonlites Choice was a Caulfield winner last year beating Hot Dipped.
Tasmanian gelding Ivoryman finished a brave sixth, beaten only 3-½ lengths, in the $120,000 Subzero Handicap at Flemington on Thursday.
The Scott Brunton-trained five-year-old, an $81 outsider, was given every chance by jockey Troy Baker.
He raced midfield and worked home solidly without threatening the placegetters.
Tasmanian-bred Junipal, a half brother to group 1 winner Palentino, was beaten in a photo-finish in the $150,000 TCL Stakes.
The Darren Weir-trained colt came from second-last to hit the front in the straight, only to be caught in the last stride by Vow And Declare.
Second-placed Charlie Castles has been forced to withdraw from the second round of the Youngbloods Challenge in Hobart on Friday due to illness.
He has been replaced by Wade Rattray.
Castles was second on the points table after the first round of heats in Devonport last Sunday when he drove two placegetters.
Conor Crook, who had a win and a scratching, is the series leader.
Points: Crook 22, Castles 20, Taylor Ford, Hannah Van dongen 18, Sam Gangell, Troy McDonald 15, Lachlan Dakin 9, Georgia Hayward, Matt Howlett 7, Brady Woods 4.