Gary Portelli's Grazie had a mixed start to its career but there was reason to believe the three-year-old gelding was a fair shot and taking out the $22,000 Mcsigns Orange Maiden Plate on Friday.
That was certainly the opinion of leading bush rider Greg Ryan who guided the $4.80 past the post at Towac Park as it pipped the $2.50 favourite to win by a neck.
Grazie's preparation leading into Friday was a curious one as a second-placed finish at Canberra was sandwiched between a pair of eight-placed efforts but based on what Ryan had seen on the film, he thought he'd have a chance if presented with a decent enough run.
I'm blessed to be here at Orange and not somewhere like Dubbo... it's a few degrees cooler here which I'm thankful for.Greg Ryan.
"He failed badly at Wyong last start before today but the start before, he ran second," Ryan said.
"The horse that beat him went on to win three on the trot so there was some sort of hope here today.
"With the scratchings we thought he had a good chance. He's a bit immature in the mind and last start he beat himself by throwing his head about but fortunately today they ran fast enough for me to keep him under control."
Grazie was boxed awkwardly at gate 11 and spent the duration of the journey three or four wide - sometimes without cover - but when it peeled to the outside at the turn, was able to round up the leaders for a narrow win.
And it's no surprise that the Warwick Farm-based horse was ready to explode once it hit daylight as it comes from a high regarded stable. "They're a professional stable and they're going to be as prepared as they can be," he said.
"After that it's just up to the jockey and the horse. It's good he won his maiden and we'll see how he measures up from here on in."
As for the conditions of the track? Well, Ryan was stoked. "I'm blessed to be here at Orange and not somewhere like Dubbo... it's a few degrees cooler here which I'm thankful for."
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