After almost two years off the scene, well-bred galloper Wales returned to the races in triumphant style at Sandown on Wednesday.
The Lloyd Williams-owned galloper won a Listed race at Caulfield on debut in April 2012 but had not raced since because of injuries.
Under jockey Steven Arnold in the Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap, Wales finished strongly down the outside to win by a short head.
“He won a stakes race in his first start so the talent is there but you’re not quite sure how they will go when they’ve had a couple of years off,” Arnold said.
“He’s a really nice horse that is well bred and it was a good effort to sustain a run like he did.”
Wales is an entire by Redoute’s Choice out of Makybe Diva’s half-sister Valkyrie Diva.
Earlier at the Sandown meeting, premiership-leading trainer Darren Weir prepared a treble in consecutive races.
Weir’s third winner, Rich River was ridden by Brad Rawiller who notched his 100th Victorian win for the season.
He has also ridden two winners interstate and is aiming to win the national premiership.