Imported galloper Bartholomeu Dias has backed up a solid Australian debut with a decisive on-pace victory at Sandown.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained gelding made his debut at Caulfield last month with a closing fourth before stepping up to 1800m on Wednesday to take out the Ladbrokes Handicap.
With Craig Williams aboard, Bartholomeu Dias was sent out the $3.20 favourite before scoring a two length win from fellow on-pacer The Black Leopard ($8.50) with Master Shuhood ($21) a long neck away third.
Eustace praised Williams for his ride on the heavy ground.
“Craig gave him a nice ride,” Eustace told racing.com.
“He held him together at the right spots and gave him a bit of confidence travelling into the race.
“He got into a nice relaxed rhythm and credit to the team at home for getting him into that kind of headspace.
“These Europeans can take a little bit of adapting, so they’ve done a great job with that and he has spent a bit of time down at the beach as well.
“It worked out really well and he’s a horse we think that will definitely go through the grades.
“There is a bit of upside.”
The Sandown win by Bartholomeu Dias was his first success on turf with his previous three wins in England all coming on synthetic tracks.
Eustace said Bartholomeu Dias filled the criteria Maher was looking for when purchasing horses in Europe.
“In the last couple of years Ciaron has been getting over to the sales in England and purchasing these types of horses,” Eustace said.
“It keeps the expectations a little bit lower and you can be a little bit more patient allowing the horse to run when he, or she, is ready without having any necessary firm plans until they get to a higher grade which makes life easier for us.
“If they can win along the way and go through the grades, you’ve then got horses winning races for owners which keeps them happy.”