New Zealand apprentice Michael Dee has claimed the biggest of his career with Churchill Dancer landing a Group Two race at Flemington.
Dee arrived from New Zealand in January to continue his apprenticeship with Mick Price at Caulfield.
But it was the Lindsay Park stable of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig that has provided the apprentice with his biggest success in claiming the Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on Saturday.
Appreciating the straight track, Churchill Dancer ($8) scored by a long head from Under The Louvre ($9) with Gregers ($10) a half head away third.
Dee arrived in Australia with more than 100 winners to his credit and the Lindsay Park team called on that experience when Churchill Dancer was given 53kg in Saturday’s race.
The apprentice had Churchill Dancer settled in fifth place but appeared to be in trouble when stablemate Gregers applied the pressure to take the lead.
“He travelled really well in the first half of the race,” Dee said.
“I slowly came under pressure but the horse kept fighting to the line and he’s got a great record here.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity that David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have given me today.
“It’s a huge thrill and I couldn’t be any happier.”
Hayes said Churchill Dancer would again be seen in action over the Flemington straight track in the next couple of months.
The Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 4 and the Group Two Linlithgow Stakes at Flemington on Derby day are the immediate targets.
“Since he’s had the bone chips removed he’s gone to another level,” Hayes said.
Damien Oliver said Rich Enuff required racing to get to full fitness after missing the autumn.
The $4.40 favourite finished sixth but is still on target for the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on September 26.
“I think he’s taking a little time to get fit,” Oliver said.