Improving juvenile Show A Noee gave fledgling trainer Caitlin Lavin the perfect birthday present by winning at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Lavin celebrated her 26th birthday in style when Show A Noee, backed from $15 into $13 in the Hamilton Hotel Handicap, overhauled Discreet ($3.80) in the final stages to win by three-quarters of a length with Red Empire ($51) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
Show A Noee, ridden by Damian Browne, is only the third horse Lavin has taken to the races and the two-year-old provided her with her first metropolitan winner.
“I was a bit sceptical about whether he would handle the slow track today because he’s such a big horse but I trust Damian’s judgment and he was confident he’d get through it,” Lavin said.
“Winning my first race in the city is a huge thrill and to do it on my birthday makes it even more special.”
Lavin splits her time between training a small team of horses at the Sunshine Coast and a breeding program in partnership with her father Peter, who bred and part-owns Show A Noee.
“I’ve got five in work at the moment but we also have the breeding operation looking after another 35 horses on the property,” she said.
Lavin followed the advice of Browne, who recommended removing blinkers and adding winkers to Show A Noee after he finished third at the Sunshine Coast on July 8.
“He got to the front and lost his way with the blinkers on last start so I said to Caitlin to put winkers on and it did the trick,” Browne said.
“There is still improvement in him but, at this stage, I’d keep him to races up to a mile until he strengthens up a bit more.”