Imported stayer Ibicenco will go to his new Australian home with a more impressive CV than the one he arrived in Melbourne with following his win in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).
Ibicenco came to Melbourne as the least performed of English trainer Luca Cumani’s touring quartet, but ended up doing far better than expected.
“I always had high hopes for him,” said part-owner Terry Henderson whose OTI Racing selected and syndicated the horse.
“But the other two probably looked like being more suited here.
“So I’d have to say Ibicenco’s justified all the faith I had in him.”
Henderson and his business partner, former Test cricketer Simon O’Donnell, also imported Gatewood and My Quest For Peace to run in the Melbourne Cup.
Gatewood won the Geelong Cup but failed to make the field at Flemington while My Quest For Peace finished 10th in the Cup.
Ibicenco, meanwhile, poked around in lesser races, finishing seventh in the Moonee Valley Cup and then running a luckless fourth in the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
On the back of his last run he started favourite in the Sandown Cup and according to jockey Glen Boss, had the race sewn up after 800m.
“For the first half mile I was happy to just let him do his thing,” Boss said.
“Then we just worked into the race nice and easy and when we were ready to challenge at the 400 (metres) he just got onto the bridle and did the job.”
Ibicenco ($3.50) outstayed Reuben Percival ($9.50) to score by three-quarters of a length.
The American import Unusual Suspect ($51) came from a long way back for third to record his best result in the 18 months he’s been in Australia.
Ibicenco will remain in Melbourne to be trained by Peter Moody who will aim him at next autumn’s Sydney Cup.