Tezlah has exceeded the expectations of trainer Robert Smerdon despite collecting his third win from four starts.
The victory in the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat on Saturday provided a healthy payday for the three-year-olds connections.
Not only did he collect $66,000 first prize money, there was an extra $30,000 in Super VOBIS bonuses.
Ridden by Ryan Maloney, Tezlah ($5) scored a three-quarter-length win over Mactier ($11), with Captain Harry ($9.50) two lengths away in third.
“He’s a 67 rated horse and he walks away with something like $95,000,” Smerdon said.
Tezlah won on debut at Moe, graduating to city company at Moonee Valley before Smerdon raced him in Listed grade at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week.
“He’s a horse we’ve always liked but he’s exceeded my expectations,” Smerdon said.
“I didn’t want to run at Moe because of the barrier but he won the race.
“Not many go from a maiden to a 64 grade race but he won that so we then tested him at stakes grade, which probably found him out a bit.
“We think there’s still a bit left in him being by Ocean Park so he can go off and have a bit of break now.”
But Smerdon isn’t getting too carried away.
“Step by step,” he said.
“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve done that before and you fall flat on your face.”