Frenchman Louis Baudron took a page out of the European manual for training stayers to land his first Australian winner at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
In a move foreign to most Australian trainers and most likely unappreciated by local punters, Baudron produced import Evason to win first-up from a spell over 2400m as an $18 outsider in the McGrath Handicap.
“We tried to train him like they do in Australia but the horse didn’t understand how to go fast,” Baudron said.
“It makes no sense to him.”
Ridden at the back of the field by heavyweight apprentice Koby Jennings, Evason sustained a long run to wear down Springbok Flyer and Ashkannd, two stayers out of the all-conquering Chris Waller stable.
It was hard not to miss the irony attached to the finish as Waller has dominated staying races in Sydney with horses sourced from the northern hemisphere.
Baudron arrived in Sydney last year and set up base at Warwick Farm, saying the attraction of Australian racing was obvious.
“Australia is a nice country and the racing is on the up and up all the time,” he said.
Baudron has 10 horses on his books and it hasn’t taken him long to adjust his focus to cater for a speed-obsessed Australian market.
“There are only two older horses and the rest are two-year-olds,” the 29-year-old said.
Baudron used his racing connections in France to bring Evason to Australia as the winner of three races in eight starts before Wednesday’s success.
Apprentice Andrew Adkins continued his rise in Sydney racing, landing Dixie Blossoms a narrow win for his master Ron Quinton in the Cafe Culture + Insitu Handicap.
The 18-year-old struck again in the following race, lifting Mosstar across the line in the TAB Rewards Handicap.
Adkins’ double was matched by Jennings who brought Never Back Down with a late run to win the All Too Hard @ Vinery Handicap.
The pair shared riding honours with Hugh Bowman who landed a late double aboard the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained pair of Extensible and Tower Of Song.