Lightly raced Irish import Dabiyr is off the mark in Australia at just his second local appearance, racing to victory in a midweek city race at Sandown.
Now with leading Australian trainer Chris Waller after beginning his career with Dermot Weld in Ireland where he won one of his three starts, Dabiyr stepped up from 1500m to 2100m in Wednesday’s Long Fine Plate and got home by a long neck in the benchmark-70 race on a soft track.
“That was very pleasing effort over this trip for his second-up run in Australia,” Waller’s Melbourne stable representative Jo Taylor said.
“I thought it was full of merit.”
Taylor said they scratched Dabiyr from an 1800m-race at Sandown last week, electing not to run him on the heavy rated track and the four-year-old gelding instead had a jump-out on Friday to be ready for 2100m on Wednesday.
“We gave him a quiet jump-out on the Flemingon Polytrack on Friday just to make sure his fitness was up to where it needed to be and it paid off today,” she said.
“Melbourne has certainly got a good program for these kinds of stayers so hopefully we can see him just continue to progress.”
Earlier on the program the Waller stable had two-year-old filly Toffee Tongue, a sister to former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, finish a close third on debut to the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Maozi in the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap (1200m).
Maozi ($9), ridden by Beau Mertens, closed strongly to beat Hafaawa in the final strides by a head, with a short head to Toffee Tongue third.
It was the second win from six starts for Maozi.
“I thought we weren’t going to get there but she really knuckled down and hit the line well,” Mertens said.
“I think she’s a horse who takes a while to get into her gears and when she does she really lets down nicely.”
Melbourne’s leading apprentice Michael Poy notched a winning double at meeting aboard Wild Flyer and Dexelation to take his season tally of city winners to 30.