Royal Order has stamped himself as a lightly raced stayer of promise with a come-from-behind win in his city debut at Flemington.
The Mick Kent-trained three-year-old won a maiden over a mile in his second start late last month at Ballarat before heading to town for Saturday’s Henry Bolte Handicap (2000m) against his own age.
Royal Order ($8) gave his rivals a start in Saturday’s off-season race, sitting second last and was the widest runner into the home straight under apprentice Jake Bayliss before closing late to get home in the final strides.
Moshway ($151) kicked clear and looked like causing an upset before favourite Kiwia ($2.40) and then Royal Order made their challenges out wide.
Royal Order lunged late to beat the favourite by a head with a half-neck to Moshway third.
“He’s shown all the signs at home that he’s a really promising stayer,” the trainer’s son Michael Kent Jr said.
“Dad was pretty confident of his staying ability and knew he would hopefully win that maiden at Ballarat and then come straight to Flemington over 2000 (metres).
“I would say we’ll assess him now and see whether we find another three-year-old handicap in town or put him away for the spring.”
Bayliss said Royal Order was a nice horse who still had plenty to learn.
“Once he gets a visor or blinkers on, he’s going to go to a whole new level,” he said.