A former French mare with form around some of the world’s best thoroughbreds led throughout at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Now in the care of Chris Waller, Orion Love, ridden by Glen Boss, defeated the short-priced favourite Spanish Love by a short half-head over 2040m.
Before heading to Australia, Orion Love clashed with dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor Treve at Longchamp.
After a short preparation in Sydney was aborted due to sore feet, Orion Love was sent to Justine Hales, Waller’s assistant in Melbourne .
Hales said Orion Love was still a bit “woolly” when she made her debut at Sandown on December 10 but had certainly come on since that race.
“She looks much better in the coat today and she’s still got some improvement to make,” Hales said.
Boss said it wasn’t his intention to go forward and lead on the mare, but when there was no pace he was happy to take up the front-running.
Boss also said that if she could recapture her best French form then she will be winning better races than Saturday’s.
“That is pretty good form anywhere around the world,” Boss said.
“I’m sure Chris will have a little plan for her.”