Brisbane three-year-old Grayson Square is in line for a southern spring campaign after a stunning debut victory at Doomben on Saturday.
Starting at odds of $31.00, the Brian Wakefield-trained youngster produced a strong finish to edge out Golden Slipper fourth placegetter Doubtfilly by a neck in the Dulux Project Services Handicap (1200m).
The performance did not come as a surprise to Wakefield but he expressed delight at the gelding’s first-up result ahead of a number of more experienced rivals.
“I thought he’d go very close, he’d shown at home and in his trial that he was definitely above average,” Wakefield said.
“But there were a few in the race with far more race experience and obviously Doubtfilly has shown that she’s a nice filly.
“To beat her on debut is certainly a nice little mark to have on the resume.”
Wakefield said he has not yet determined where exactly the next challenge will lie but indicated a Sydney trip is very much on the cards.
“There doesn’t appear to be a great deal in Brisbane for him so we’ll probably look to go south,” he said.
“There looks to be some good options for him in Sydney in late September and October. I haven’t been through the Victorian calendar yet but we might look there as well.
“He’s come through the run really well and I’ll talk to the owners over the next few days about where exactly his next run will be.”
Bought as a yearling in New Zealand for NZ$105,000 (AU$81,000) in early 2011, the talented three-year-old was not originally in the sights of Wakefield.
But after inspecting a number of horses at the Premier sales at Karaka with equine vet and friend Mark McGarry, the son of Savabeel quickly became an obvious choice.
“This one we never really had on our books by pedigree but he was just a magnificent type,” Wakefield said.
“Mark had his favourites and I had mine but this one just really stood out to both of us.”
The Brisbane trainer left the horse with New Zealand trainer Paul Jenkins to be broken in and he arrived in Australia in tremendous condition.
“He spent 18 months over in New Zealand with Paul getting educated and broken in and he trialled over there as well,” Wakefield said.
“When he came over he was already in really good shape.”