Made In China lived up to his sparkling barrier trial form to gain victory at his very first run on Sunday.
Lined up in the $65,000 War Affair 2015 Stakes, an Initiation race over 1200m on Polytrack, the Red Arrow three-year-old did not gap his rivals the way he did at his barrier trial on June 8, but the neck-win over Farees (John Powell) after jumping from the outermost alley was still a gutsy effort that speaks volumes about his ability.
Jockey A’Isisuhairi Kasim, who sat on the China Horse Club newcomer at the trial as well, produced a copybook ride which went a long way towards that winning debut for the $11 favourite.
Instead of bustling him up early, the Malaysian rider just utilised his mount’s natural speed to allow him to slide up to the girth of leader and $257 longshot Typhon (Nuh Komari) before shifting up a gear at the point of the turn.
Made In China collared Typhon at the 200m and dug down deep to hold off the late charge from second-elect Farees by a neck. Typhon fought on gamely to run third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 11.17secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
Peters was rapt the horse previously prepared by his former boss Michael Freedman in Sydney had got off to the best possible start to his local racing career.
“He showed great ability in his work, but he’s also got a quirky nature,” said the English handler.
“I wasn’t too worried about the wide barrier as you can get away with it on Polytrack.
“It’s always tough to win on 1200m on Polytrack first-up. Harry gave him a great ride, got him in a great spot and he did everything right.
“The horse is still learning what racing is all about, but that was a great first run.”
A’Isisuhairi said he threw his hat in the ring when he heard about Made In China, and was grateful for the leg-up.
“I heard about this horse and put my hand up for the ride. He won his trial very well and they kept me on,” said the former two-time Singapore champion apprentice jockey.
“He’s only tricky behind the gates. He wants to run away from the barriers, but once he is inside, he is as good as gold.
“The barrier was a bit of a worry, but he jumped well and he gave me a beautiful ride after that. He certainly has ability and can only improve after that first run.”