New Zealand Group One placegetter Travimyfriend has broken through for his first Australian win and given his trainer Rachael Frost her first Melbourne Saturday city success since her move across the Tasman.
Frost relocated last year from New Zealand to Mornington where she trains a small team of horses including Travimyfriend and recent Sandown midweek winner Deep Euphoria.
Travimyfriend was third in the Group One Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) in New Zealand in February last year while he had been winless in nine starts since arriving in Victoria.
The six-year-old gelding almost caused a boilover when he ran a close second at Sandown last month as a $151 chance and he went into Saturday’s Ladbrokes Info Hub Handicap (1400m) off back-to-back city placings.
Sent out at $16 in the field of seven with Michael Dee aboard, Travimyfriend improved from back in the field approaching the home turn in the soft conditions before racing to a 2-3/4-length victory over $2.15 favourite Organza.
Last-start Caulfield winner Elite Drake was another three-quarters of a length away third.
“His last few starts he has tried quite hard so he has deserved it,” Frost said.
“He is Group One placed and multiple stakes placed in New Zealand.
“He has finally put his hand up.”
Frost believes a big drop in weight, despite stepping up in class, suited Travimyfriend.
And while she said Travimyfriend never really liked wet tracks that much back in New Zealand, he has appreciated getting on rain-affected ground in his recent runs.
“Since it has rained he’s really improved,” Frost said.
“He has problems with his back so the firm tracks probably didn’t help him.”