Three-year-old Giannis has broken his maiden in spectacular style, getting the better of Tiger Of Malay in the Dulcify Stakes after a stirring two-horse dual.
The victory gave premier trainer Chris Waller his third winner from five races and a two-state stakes race double after Ranch Hand earlier won the Poseidon Stakes at Flemington.
The three-year-old was winless in five starts as a juvenile but put the writing on the wall when he rounded out his preparation with a second to Converge in the Group 1 J J Atkins in Brisbane.
“He’s always been a horse we’ve spoken highly of, but he’s needed a little bit of time,” Waller said.
“It’s great to see these two-year-olds from our stable coming back at three and performing well. I think he’s got a pretty bright future.”
Waller confirmed he would consider a 2021 Golden Rose start for Giannis, having produced The Autumn Sun off a similar preparation three years ago.
The Autumn Sun finished third in the 2018 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and dropped back 100m in distance to win the Golden Rose two weeks later
“The Autumn Sun was the last one to do it and we’ll have a serious look at this horse now,” Waller said.
“It’s pretty good to be talking about them in the same sentence. He’s got a long way to go but he’s heading in the right direction.”
Kerrin Mcevoy aboard the winner stalked Tiger Of Malay ($2.90 fav) in the run and the two horses settled down to fight the race out with Giannis ($7.50) eventually getting the verdict by a head.
Royalzel ($12) couldn’t quite match that pair over the final furlong but stuck on well for third another long neck away.
McEvoy said it was an incredible training performance by Waller to have Giannis fit enough to outmuscle Tiger Of Malay over 1500m first-up.
“I was picking him up around the corner, he was first-up over 1500 for a little while and that’s an ask for any horse, so he’s done a good job there,” McEvoy said.
“He showed a lot of ticker the last bit.”
Giannis brought up an early treble for Waller at Kembla after he took out the two distance races on the program with Accountability and Toomuchtobear.