New Zealand has taken the early lead in the Origin jockeys challenge in Brisbane with a win and a second on the first day at Doomben.
The series is being run over three days on Queensland tracks with seven teams from five states, New Zealand and an All Stars team.
New Zealand’s Damian Browne took the first blood when he won the first heat on Son Of A Brut.
He was too strong for NSW’s Tye Angland on Another Cocktail with Clare Lindop (Victoria) third on Classy Ruby.
Son Of A Brut is trained by Chris Munce who was pleased the gelding showed he could run out a strong 2240 metres.
Browne was equally upbeat about Son Of A Brut’s future as a stayer.
“Chris was a bit worried he might not run out the trip but he went through the line strongly,” Browne said.
Victoria then struck back when Luke Nolen flashed home to win on Femme Fireball to beat Browne on Aberlady and South Australia’s Jamie Kah on Love Battles third.
Leading points after two Origin heats: New Zealand (10), Victoria (9), NSW (6).