An Italian Derby placegetter has taken the honours in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool.
Ancient King, who finished third in the 2012 Italian Derby, overcame a suspensory injury to win at Warrnambool on Tuesday.
Former trainer Peter Moody bought Ancient King and Derby runner-up Wish Come True following their placings in Rome.
“After running a place in an Italian Derby, I didn’t think he’d be in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool,” Moody said on Tuesday.
“I bought the second and third horse. I think they wanted a million euro for the winner but I bought the second and third horses for about 400.”
Ancient King was successful on the flat at Flemington for Moody but following Moody’s retirement in 2016 he was transferred to leading trainer Darren Weir.
Weir, who turned 47 on Tuesday, landed his 48th Warrnambool winner with Ancient King’s victory.
He said Ancient King showed some promise over the jumps last campaign before being sidelined through injury.
“He showed a bit last year but he had a little tear to a suspensory so we had to stop with him,” Weir said.
“He’s had a faultless preparation so far and he schooled well so I was pretty confident coming here today.
“He’s sound and he’s fit now and hopefully he can go on with it.”
In a race to be first trainer to 50 winners at the Warrnambool carnival, Robert Smerdon reached 49 when All Well won the first division of the maiden hurdle.
Imported to Australia by Paul Fudge, All Well had three starts in NSW for Greg Bennett before joining Smerdon’s stable.
It was the gelding’s first win in 14 attempts and Smerdon believes All Well’s future will be over the bigger jumps.
“He’s got a spectacular leap on him and when he gets to steeplechasing he’ll be even better,” Smerdon said.
The victory was dual purpose jockey Jamie Mott’s 10th over jumps and third from four rides this jumps season.
At the completion of Wednesday’s program Mott will have his claim reduced to 1.5kg until he rides 20 winners over jumps.