Bigger and better things are in store for Sandown debut winner Popovich, according to jockey Craig Williams.
Drawing the widest gate and being forced to cover ground, Popovich lived up to heavy betting support to take out The Cove Hotel Plate.
Backed from $3.60 into $2.80 favouritism, Popovich scored a three-quarter length win from Longkissgoodnight ($3.90) with Mostert ($14) the same margin away in third.
Williams reported the son of Showcasing did a lot wrong during the race but was able to win on raw ability.
“He did more wrong than he did right and it was his natural ability that got him through today,” Williams said.
“I love how solid he was and he’ll have no problem getting over further.”
A $44,000 yearling purchase in New Zealand, Popvich is trained at Caulfield by Robert Smerdon and Williams praised the stable with how well the gelding was prepared for Wednesday’s debut.
He said a lot of work went into the barrier education of the three-year-old.
“They’ve done a lot of work to get him out of the gates and we got him out of the gates,” Williams said.
“But he drew the outside gate which was not a hugh advantage, but he showed his ability to win impressively after racing wide.
“He’s going to improve further off today’s experience.”