Promising four-year-old Gee Gee Secondover burst into Newmarket Handicap contention with a barn-storming win in the $30,000 Goodwood Handicap at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
A patient, well-timed ride by Craig Newitt and a big weight advantage helped the gelding get home narrowly over Blaze Forth and Twitchy Frank.
Gee Gee Secondover carried 7kg less than the runner-up and 6kg less than the third placegetter.
"He's going to get into the Newmarket on the minimum and, if he runs up that form, he's going to be mighty hard to beat," Newitt said.
Co-trainer Leon Wells said Gee Gee Secondover had grown into a nice horse since his two and three-year-old days when he kept running into Mystic Journey and The Inevitable.
"He's a very solid horse now," Wells said. "You've got to ride him back with cover and, if you do, he's got a really quick 200m sprint."
STAR'S 3YO WIN A REAL BONUS
Consistent filly Still A Star earned $12,500 in prizemoney and a $16,000 Tasbred bonus for her owners with an impressive first-up win in the 3YO Handicap.
Trainer Bill Ryan said he had targeted the race because of the bonus and it was a perfect lead-up to the $50,000 3YO Cup in three weeks.
"She's a very nice filly who keeps improving," Ryan said.
"She relaxes so well that she might get further later on but for now we'll target the short races."
Craig Newitt said Still A Star was very impressive. "She looked a bit babyish last time in but she's taken the next step," he said.
"She was going to win a long way out and is in for a very good prep."
There were some good runs behind the winner and none better than runner-up Sirene Stryker who looked very unlucky.
SO PROVES TOO HOT FOR RIVALS
Few people would have begrudged either Sir Da Vinci or Needadollarbill a win in the Maiden Plate but they were relegated to the minor placings by consistent filly Gee Gee Double Hot.
Sir Da Vinci, who dashed to the front on the home turn and was only collared late, was David Pires' first ride since breaking his hip in a race fall 21 months ago.
And, Needadollarbill, a close third from a wide draw, was looking to give his part-owner, former leading trainer Terry Roles, a welcome tonic as he battles MND.
However another good ride from apprentice Scarlet So saw Gee Gee Double Hot come from last of the main pack with inside runs to snatch a narrow win.
Trainer Stuart Gandy admitted he was worried when the winner drifted so far back from the inside gate.
"I was swearing a bit early but Scarlet rides the filly in her work and knew what she was doing - she rode for luck and it worked out well," Gandy said.
"We're hoping this filly will get a bit of ground but she's now got to step up. We'll set our sights high and adjust as required."
VOORHAM'S FIRST $100,000 WINNER
Tasmanian apprentice Teagan Voorham has scored her biggest win since moving to South Australia in June - and the biggest of her career.
Voorham won the $100,000 Skybeau Stayers Final on Hasta La War at Morphettville on Tuesday.
Raquel Clark finished second on Dr Dependable to give Tasmania the quinella.
Voorham has ridden 19 winners in South Australia this season to be seventh on the statewide premiership. Five of her wins have been on city tracks.
BIG GUNS OUT TO FIRE IN HOBART
Three states have had to find new representatives for the Australian Drivers Championship in Hobart on Saturday night.
Greg Sugars and Grant Dixon both withdrew from the series due to commitments at Melton and Lauren Tritton is unwell.
They been replaced by Darby McGuigan (Vic), Narissa McMullen (Qld) and Kerryann Morris (NSW).
Two drivers from each state will contest seven heats and each race has a capacity field.
The first heat is at 7pm and there will be trackside coverage on Sky 1 hosted by Brittany Graham.
Duncan Dornauf will host Tasracing's live stream.
The other competitors are Mark Yole and Ricky Duggan (Tas); Kerryn Manning (Vic); Todd McCarthy (NSW); Peter McMullen (Qld); Dani Hill and Ken Rogers (SA) and Gary Hall and Ryan Warwick (WA).