Former Japanese horse Hallelujah Boy has tested the Kris Lees stable but has finally broken through for an Australian win at Randwick.
The five-year-old, who was imported by Australian Bloodstock, last won in Tokyo in February 2016.
He has been close in some of his races and on Saturday pulled off a betting plunge from $3.20 to $2.80 to win over 2000m at Randwick.
He still did not make it easy for jockey Jason Collett and the heavy track made it a slog but he got the job done to beat Solo Mission ($6.50) by a half-neck.
The two had the finish to themselves, with favourite Araaja ($2.70) a distant 5-1/4 lengths away.
“I thought I would lead but then Ashkannd crossed so I settled him second,” Collett said.
“He only has a short, sharp sprint on him and I didn’t want to use him up too early, and I didn’t want to make a long run on him.
“The other horse was coming at me but luckily I had a break.
“He handled the conditions and was the best of the bunch today.”
Lees’ foreman, Mal Ollerton, said he was unsure what plans the trainer had for Hallelujah Boy and they would just enjoy the win for the moment.