Winning a Group Two race is an ideal way to shed your maiden status.
Jabali shook off one of racing’s most unwanted labels when he won Saturday’s Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Doomben at his 14th career start.
Beaten as an odds-on favourite in midweek races at Geelong and Werribee at the start of his campaign, Jabali started one of the outsiders at $26 in the Guineas.
Jockey Jim Byrne brought Jabali with a well-timed finish to win by 1-1/4 lengths from Bachman ($21) with Merion, the $6.50 equal favourite, a neck away third.
Runner-up in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes as a two-year-old, Jabali has been a source of frustration for trainer Mick Price.
But Matt Finn, stable manager for Price, said Jabali has always had the potential to succeed in black-type company.
“He should’ve won at Werribee a few runs back but today was where it all happens and it’s a great result for all involved,” Finn said.
“That was his seventh run this preparation so I’m not sure if Mick wants to push on with him for an 1800-metre race at the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks.”
Byrne said the fast pace set by Traveston Girl suited Jabali.
“On the way to the barriers he was a little bit aggressive but he relaxed well with the good tempo up front,” Byrne said.
“It was all about switching him off and getting him to relax and the clean tempo enabled him to do that.”
Jockey Michael Cahill was happy with the effort of Bachman who pulled hard in the early stages.
“It took me until about the 1000-metre mark to get him to relax but his effort was good,” he said.