Craig Newitt can’t hide his excitement about the impending return of Victoria Derby winner Tarzino.
But it was a stablemate who provided the jockey with Listed race success at Caulfield on Australia Day.
Newitt won Tuesday’s Listed John Dillon Stakes on the Mick Price-trained Mighty Like ($21) who upset his more-fancied rivals in coming from last in the 1400m race.
Ridden quietly from an awkward draw, Mighty Like was the widest runner into the straight and let down best to defeat favourite Tried And Tired ($4.40) by a half neck with three-quarters of a length to Baligari ($10) third.
Newitt believes a drop in weight on Mighty Like’s recent outings to the 54kg limit on Tuesday helped the six-year-old gelding.
“His last-start run was good where he had a big weight and he was sort of in need of the run,” Newitt said.
“He had a really good weight pull on most of his rivals today and from a wide gate it forced our hand to ride him quiet.”
After tracking Duke Of Brunswick around the home turn, Newitt peeled Mighty Like into the clear.
“He reeled off a nice furlong and got the job done,” Newitt said.
The victory was Mighty Like’s ninth from 28 starts and first since October at Bendigo.
Newitt said he galloped Tarzino on Tuesday morning.
“He’s going great,” Newitt said.
“He’s a lot bigger, a lot stronger. He’s a lot more colty but I think he’s definitely improved with the break under his belt.”
Tarzino is expected to have a barrier trial at Geelong on Monday ahead of his scheduled return against older horses in the Group One CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 13.