Two graduates of Trelawney Stud's 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale draft were in the winner's circle at Moe on Thursday.
Gundown (High Chaparral x Lady of The House) came from the rear of the field to land the Moe Cup (2050m) in style, relishing the rain-softened conditions.
The five-year-old son of High Chaparral made the most of the worsening track conditions to power over the top of his rivals to score by a length and a quarter from Annarbor, with $26 chance Mr Clarify a half-neck back in third.
Now in the care of Michael Moroney at Flemington, the win in the A$150,000 feature was the first in three starts for his new conditioner, after commencing his career with Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman in New Zealand.
Sporting the colours of prominent owner Lib Petagna, Gundown has now won four races and is placed at Group Two and Group Three level.
Moroney’s stable representative, Jack Turnbull, was thrilled to see the gelding achieve one of the goals they set for him so early in his campaign.
“Country cups were always going to be on his radar and thankfully we’ve ticked one off,” he said.
“He had the conditions to suit with the evident rainfall and it panned out really well.
“He’s shown good ability at home and he’s quite sharp for a horse that’s performed at two miles.”
Bred by Raffles Farm, Gundown was sold by Trelawney Stud for $70,000 at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, where he was snapped up by Lib Petagna’s bloodstock and racing manager Bruce Perry.
Earlier in the day Savaheat (Savabeel x Heat Storm) battled driving rain to win the Winning Edge BM78 Handicap (1600m).
Savaheat, who was resuming off the back of a trial win earlier this month, also came from the rear of the field and showed a good turn of foot despite very testing conditions to fight off his rivals and win by 0.1L.
Michael Kent Jr, who trains the five-year-old gelding in partnership with Mick Price, was happy with the performance and thrilled with how Savaheat is shaping up this campaign.
"He's a lovely horse and he looked fantastic today," Kent Jnr said. "He's come up nicely this time in and won a trial at Cranbourne nicely. John (Allen, jockey) gave him a patient ride and it all worked well.
"Mick and I thought this time in his coat is gleaming and he has come up very forward. He did a lot of his pre-training down in Warrnambool which suited him.
"He's come back here very sound and well and we have just put the polish on him the last few weeks
Bred by Whakanui Stud, Savaheat was purchased out of Trelawney's 2016 Premier draft at Karaka for $220,000 and has now won four starts including the Listed Hill Smith Stakes in (1800m) in 2017. -NZ Racing Desk, Trelawney Stud