Sebrarian has finally justified Gai Waterhouse’s’ faith, after some of his owners had all but given up hope.
The three-year-old understandably started his second preparation as a $31 chance in a 1400m maiden at Warwick Farm.
So when he held off the late challenge by $1.40 favourite Tivoli Street by half a length, Sebrarian’s owners stood out in the holiday crowd on Monday.
Adrian Bott, Waterhouse’s training partner, was also rapt as was stable apprentice Rachel King who was in the saddle for his previous best finish, a fifth on debut at Kembla Grange in May last year.
After that reasonable beginning, Sebrarian ran last or second last in four other starts and when he trailed the winner by 19 lengths at Hawkesbury before Christmas, his racing future looked bleak.
“We got to a point there at the end of the last campaign where we were at a crossroads with him,” Bott said.
“He showed enough in work but obviously the race performances weren’t there.
“That’s where Gai’s experience came to the fore. She was very strong in her opinion that we not be too harsh on him and judge him too early.”
“We needed time to strengthen him up so we said ‘can we have one more go?’ I think a few of the owners were getting frustrated at the lack of results.”
Fortunately that patience and perseverance paid off.
“He’s proved he’s up to Sydney class now. We can look to step him up in distance and try and go through his grades,” Bott said.
There were four more first-time winners at the meeting with Wild Heart, Heliosphere, Lope De Lope and Queen of Heights also breaking their ducks.
Gerald Ryan mentioned Heliosphere in the same breath as the stable’s Australian Derby runner-up Harper’s Choice after he won the 2YO maiden (1600m) as the $2.25 favourite.
Heliosphere fought a stirring battle down the straight with African Rainbow ($2.90) to score by a half-head.
“I was a bit worried he was going to a mile second-up on a heavy,” Ryan said.
“The spring will come around too quick for him but later on the autumn he could be a nice horse.”
Ron Quinton was also smiling after Lope De Lope ($6) snared the 1400m maiden for three-year-old fillies by wearing down $3.10 favourite Jaunty.
“Ray Gall bought her at the Patinack dispersal sale as a weanling so it’s taken us to three to get there,” he said.