The horse who gave trainer John Price his first Melbourne city winner has added another with a first-up success at Caulfield.
Promising three-year-old Wise Hero made it three wins from four starts with a hard-fought victory in Saturday’s Next Payments Handicap (1200m).
Price, a Group Two-winning trainer in Western Australia, relocated to Victoria in 2013 and Wise Hero’s win at Moonee Valley last November gave the Cranbourne trainer his first Melbourne city win.
He has since added two more metropolitan victories with Tykiato before Wise Hero’s first-up success on Saturday in his first start since being beaten for the first time when second at Pakenham on December 3.
“He’s back and he’s a winner at Caulfield and that’s a big thing for me still trying to break the ice over here,” Price said.
“He’s a very exciting horse who’s had four runs.
“He’s come back bigger and better than ever and I think there’s improvement in him because most of those had had races under their belt and he was first-up.
“So things are looking good.”
Price is looking to race Wise Hero through his grades and said he would resist the temptation of next Saturday’s Group Two Euclase Stakes in Adelaide.
“We want him around for a while, so we’ll do our best to get him over this one and find another one or two races for him and then he’ll have another short break,” he said.
With Dwayne Dunn aboard, Wise Hero ($4) settled just off the leaders on the fence before angling out at the top of the straight.
The gelding got the upper hand on runner-up Bord De Gain over the concluding stages to score by a half-neck with a head to Katsuro third.
Apprentice Mitch Aitken was fined $750 for failing to ride fifth placegetter Extra Olives right out to the line while Chelsea Hall was fined $300 for the same offence on fourth-placed Liberty Song.