Recent recruit New Universe has made a sparkling Australian debut at Rosehill for trainer Chris Waller.
The three-year-old crossed the Tasman early this year as a colt but has since been gelded, which has helped improve his manners.
New Universe won his first two starts in New Zealand for Chris Wood then ran fifth on Boxing Day, his last start in his former home.
Waller’s bloodstock adviser Guy Mulcaster, who was also responsible for selecting champion Winx as a yearling, bought New Universe for stable client and Macau businessman CC Lai, who has had Australian Group One success with Grand Marshal and Delectation.
“He was a horse we identified and bought after his third start,” Mulcaster said.
“He won his first two races and then at his third start everything that could go wrong went wrong.
“He will go through his grades here before we think about anything too ambitious.”
Punters were quick to support New Universe, who was backed from $4.40 to $3.60 favouritism with Luxbet.com.au for the Freshmark Handicap (1200m).
Under patient riding from Tommy Berry, New Universe charged home from last to beat Kawaikini ($10) by a length, with Passage Of Time ($5) another 1-3/4 lengths away.
“Just riding him to the gates he got his head up a few times and it felt like if you ask him for an inch he’ll take a mile,” Berry said.
“So I really had to be patient on him and ride him like the best horse in the race.
“I think he’ll get to stakes level. Whether it’s this prep or next prep I’m not too sure because he’s still learning his craft.”