The New Zealand bred Waihaha Falls made no mistake on debut coming home a little bit more comfortably than the official 0.50 length winning margin suggests under a perfect ride from Tom Marquand.
Waihaha Falls was given the run of the race, settling in third place stalking the speed until the turn. Marquand then tracked a tighter line into the home straight than the horses in front of him and he quickly ranged up alongside the leaders.
By the 200m he had established what turned out to be a winning advantage, although Marquand did continue to push Waihaha out, keeping his mind on the job, teaching the first-timer how to hit the line.
Trainer John O’Shea put the win in perspective.
“Look, he is just a very talented horse,” said O’Brien. “He is a horse that we came here with thinking he might just lack a bit of seasoning … just having had the one trial.
“Obviously, drawing the one barrier and not having to do a lot of work helped him. He looked around a bit when he got to the front. I’ve just got a really good opinion of him.
“I’m very happy for his ownership group back in New Zealand. We watched his trial as a green, young horse and they were kind enough to send him over on the strength of that trial … and they have been justified with that decision. I think he has got a very bright future.’
Tm Marquand agreed with O’Shea.
“Without a doubt he has got a bright future,” said Marquand. ‘He has got this air of rawness about him and, to be honest, it surprised me how sharp he was early doors to jump and get a position as well as he did.
“That was probably more testament to his class than anything else.
‘I didn’t think I would take two lengths out of the favourite as quickly as I did and so I ended up in front a bit too soon.
“He was definitely value for a bit more and there is definitely more to come from him.”