The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained True Enough was backed into $4 favouritism by punters in the group two Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton yesterday and he duly delivered, courtesy of a gun ride by leading hoop Matthew Cameron.
The son of Nom Du Jeu began well from barrier six and settled just off the speed behind Shadows Cast for Cameron.
The pair were able to stalk the Palmerston North galloper throughout before Cameron was able to find clear racing room down the straight and True Enough was able to run down fellow Cambridge raider Vigor Winner to win by half-a-neck, with Sacred Day three-quarters of a length back in third.
It was the second group three victory for the six-year-old gelding after winning the Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings last month, and Cameron said True Enough is maturing into a quality racehorse.
"Once I got stuck into him he really dug deep and all credit to the second horse, he took a while to get past. My horse is still learning and he is really starting to find that line which is great," Cameron said. "He is still quite raw. I know he has had a few starts but he is starting to grow up now.
"Trina [Riddell, travelling foreman] and Jonathan [Riddell] and the team back at home have done a wonderful job with the horse."
It was the eighth career victory for the lightly-raced galloper and co-trainer Andrew Forsman said the patient approach taken by his connections is now starting to pay dividends.
"Every time we have raised the bar with him he has stepped up, so it was nice to see him do that today.
"He has been a slow maturer and the owners have been willing to be very patient with him and we have taken our time and it seems to be paying off."
True Enough is now likely to contest weight-for-age assignments, with the group one Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham next month a possible target.
"He will fly home on Monday and we will see how he is and make a bit of a plan," Forsman said. "Off the back of that win he is probably a weight-for-age horse in New Zealand.
"We have got options like the Captain Cook and at some point it would be nice to try him at a middle distance."
Earlier in the day, Melbourne-based jockey Michael Dee made a fleeting visit to Riccarton to join forces with emerging trainer and long-time friend Daniel Miller and the pair combined for a double, including success in the Lindauer Stewards Stakes Handicap with four-year-old mare Sheezallmine.
Miller's parents, John and Maree, bought Sheezallmine for just $1000 as a yearling from gavelhouse.com and the lightly-raced speedster has now won five of her nine starts, with a group three victory adding to a last-start stakes placing.
Dee, 23, and Miller, 22, have come through the equine ranks together and both are on a path to excellence in their respective trades.
"Dan and I have been good mates for ages, way back to the showjumping days, then when we worked together at Te Akau [Racing Stables]," Dee said.
"All credit to Dan, he is doing an absolutely fantastic job with all of his horses. He has only got a small team, but they are all winning."
Dee rated Sheezallmine to perfection to win by just over a length to defeat race favourite Sensei, who found the line well for second after being held up momentarily.
"We just utilised her very good gate-speed from barrier one and we were able to get quite a nice lead. That was probably the main thing today. I wanted to get a nice, soft lead just so we could get a good kick off the corner when straightening up. She did that, but still did a lot wrong in the straight.
"I wanted to follow the rail the whole way up, but she wanted to get out there on the middle. But to her credit, she was strong through the line."
Dee, who has ridden 451 winners since relocating to Victoria in January 2015, said the mare would compare favourably across the Tasman.
"She is definitely city class, that is for sure. She could measure up to black-type on Saturdays over there," he said.
For Miller, a former jumps jockey turned trainer, the result was the biggest in his burgeoning career, but there is unquestionably more to come from the talented horseman.
"It's crazy. I am lost for words," an emotional Miller said.
- NZ Racing Desk