VALOUR Elite had to wait more than a year to land his first career win but the victorious moment finally came at Tyers Park on Monday as the Gerald Ryan runner saluted with a big sprint home.
Valour Elite ($6.50) made his first step outside of metropolitan and provincial racing on Monday for the Rosehill trainer and it proved to be a right move.
Keagan Latham guided the gelding to victory over his more fancied rivals Uprise ($2.40) and Green Jacket ($2.30 favourite) with his powerful finish.
Latham, making his first competitive start on the Snitzel gelding, said there's plenty of growing for the young runner to do.
"I've trialled him twice leading up to this race. He had his first run back at Kembla [Grange] but this was definitely a drop down in grade today and the extra furlong definitely helped him out," he said.
"He's still a little bit weak and has more to learn but I was really happy with today's effort. I thought Brad Widdup's horse [Uprise] was going to chase him down but in fairness to him he responded when I got stuck in and won quite comfortably."
The pace was on early as several contenders, including Valour Elite, jostled for the early lead.
Joining him were Green Jacket, Exemplary Lad and Uprise.
Green Jacket moved into the lead with Exemplary Lad in tow, while Valour Elite sat to the outside of Uprise ready to make a move around the outside.
Valour Elite and Uprise pulled away from the group over the closing 200 metres and Latham's gelding had more left to give in the dash for home.
Latham wanted to ensure Valour Elite never sat far away from the front runners at any point in the race.
"I spoke to Gerald this morning and he said he'd be happy with wherever I got him," he said.
"This course is known to favour front runners so I didn't want to be too far off the speed, and there was a bit of speed early on.
"When the pace slackened off a bit I let him roll around the bend and get himself into a prominent position without using too much and thankfully it saved the energy up for the end.
"He's a horse who I think will keep improving. Once he starts going over 1,400m to the mile he might be able to work his way back to the provincials."
The five career starts to date for Valour Elite have been strung out over 15 months.
Valour Elite began his career back in October 2018 where he ran eighth on debut behind Blue Sapphire and recent Rubiton Stakes champion Anaheed.
After a lengthy 40 week spell he returned for two unsuccessful starts in July last year, before he ran sixth at Kembla Grange at the start of his current preparation.
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