The jockey’s first win was the result of a well-timed early move and a desperate last push helped Alfarris ($3.60f) home and booked a place in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes – and a shot at a Melbourne Cup berth – in two weeks.
Alfarris had won four races in England for William Haggas and it took a step up to 2400m at the five-year-old’s third Australian start for David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig to breakthrough.
Williams’ second winner Zoutari ($2.40f) holds a Stradbroke Handicap entry but co-trainer Matty Ellerton said the group 3 Fred Best Classic for three-year-olds over 1400m would be next and act as a stepping stone.
‘‘I don’t know if he is good enough for a Stradbroke but we will try and get him up there, he has earned a shot with that win,’’ Ellerton said after the gelding lumped 60kg to notch a third straight win.
Nikita Beriman denied Williams an even bigger day with a rails-hugging ride on Bam’s On Fire as she edged out Williams on $2.15 favourite Propelle.
Bam’s On Fire ($7) has now won two from three since joining Ciaron Maher and David Eustace from Western Australia.
Beriman’s decision to stay inside was forced somewhat with the pattern of the day appearing to favour horses away from the fence.
‘‘There is plenty of improvement in her,’’ Eustace said. ‘‘She was probably a bit cooked after travelling over so we gave her a bit of a break after her first run for us.’’
Peter and Paul Snowden’s two-year-old filly Missile Mantra signalled an exciting spring ahead with an impressive win in the Redoute’s Choice Stakes.
Coming off a Ballarat maiden, winning jockey Beau Mertens said Missile Mantra ($4.20) showed solid start-to-start progression to maintain her unbeaten record.
“Today was a big ask first time in stakes company and she stepped up to the plate,’’ he said.
‘‘There was big improvement in the way she went about things. She is only going to get better.’’