Gary Sheppard is involved in the flooring industry so he is accustomed with the concept of staying on the level.
Yet as a horse owner he admitted he would have his work cut out keeping fellow connections of Bon Amis grounded after the gelding won his first start at Rosehill.
A bargain basement purchase for $4000, Bon Amis extended his unbeaten streak to four with a commanding 1-3/4-length victory in the Cellarbrations Handicap (1100m) on Saturday.
Sheppard invited his staff to take a small share in the four-year-old, and they were trackside watching the $1.30 favourite score comfortably to boost his earnings to $92,405..
Blowing Kisses ($10) was second while Curdled ($18) and Magicaz ($26) were a head back in a dead- heat for third.
“I’ve been watering down (expectations) after the first race. It’ll be hard to hose them down now,” Sheppard said.
Bon Amis was identified during an internet search when Sheppard and fellow principal owner Tom Bremner wanted a horse to fill a void.
Nevagotavote retired two years ago and their It’s A Dundeel filly was not yet read to race.
“I found him on a bloodstock agent’s site and liked his dam who was by of Nothin’ Leica Dane,” Sheppard said.
“I got a vet to have a look at him. There wasn’t a whole lot of risk because he was pretty cheap.”
Newcastle-based trainer Jason Deamer said Bon Amis was broken in near Coffs Harbour before the original owner and trainer had to sell him on.
“We’ve taken the easy steps, baby steps, to get here and today was the day that he had to really show up and put his foot down,” Deamer said.
He hoped Bon Amis would return to Sydney for another Saturday race.
“How could expect this? We were just looking for a bit of a stop gap between horses,” Sheppard said.
“To come to Sydney after only three starts, we weren’t expecting that.”
Jockey Rory Hutchings first rode Bon Amis when he won by 4-3/4-lengths in Newcastle last start and was impressed again.
“There’s still plenty more there so I can’t wait to see until he really opens up,” Hutchings said.