A change of tactics helped former Sydney stayer Xebec end a long run of outs when he led all the way for his first Australian win at Doomben on Saturday.
Xebec, who did his early racing in Ireland, had not won since August 2016 at Bellewstown and had developed a reputation as a minor placegetter since coming to Australia in early 2017.
Trainer Chris Waller and his Queensland stable manager decided to change tactics with Xebec and it paid off with the gelding never looking in danger.
Xebec ($3) went on to core by three lengths to his stablemate Irish Optimism ($6) with a length to Backhouse Billy ($21) in third place in the Countdown to Carnival Handicap (2200m).
“He has been racing well without winning and was second his past two starts in Queensland,” Shailer said.
“There didn’t look to be any early pace in the race so we elected to lead with Xebec and it worked out.”
Xebec is one of several former European horses being trained by Waller on the Gold Coast.
“These international horses seem to go well when they get up here in the warmer climate,” Shailer said.
Winning jockey Robbie Fradd said Xebec had appreciated being able to dictate the pace and was never in danger once he got an uncontested lead.