Breeding told when Highward put his poor form aside and won at his first middle-distance attempt at Doomben.
Highward was unwanted in the bookmakers’ ring and started $8 before running on strongly to win the Girl’s Day Out Maiden Plate (2200m) on Wednesday.
The gelding is by High Chaparral out of the Pentire mare Pentamerous, making him a brother to Shoot Out who won four Group One races including the 2010 Australian Derby.
At his first seven starts, Highward showed none of his brother’s ability and his best efforts were two fifths as a two-year-old when trained by Chris Waller in Sydney.
Owner-breeder Linda Huddy asked Tony Gollan to take Highward as a favour and the premier trainer had to experiment to get the horse going.
“We had blinkers on him but he seemed to be dropping out quickly so we took them off. He is a long way from the best horse in the stable but he might get some more wins over middle distances,” Gollan said.
Gollan got a double and his 61st metropolitan win of the season when Gracida ($2.20) won the Gallopers Sports Club Handicap.
Gracida is likely have one more midweek run before heading to Saturday class.
Well-bred filly, Cruising Speed ($3.50), scored an impressive win after her jockey Brad Stewart got away with easy early sectionals and she was able to run her final 600m in a slick 33.56 seconds.
Cruising Speed, a Grant Morgan syndication horse, is by top kiwi sire Savabeel out of the mare Vanilla Sky which makes her a close relation to smart sprinter Stratum Star.
“Her bloodlines are strong back to her third dam, the champion mare Emancipation. We knew we had a good horse when she wasn’t far from rising star Right Or Wrong in a recent jump-out,” Morgan said.