Canberra trainer Nick Olive unearthed a promising filly at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Thursday.
Kimberley Secrets ($10) could hardly have been more impressive when taking out the Wagga Workwear Maiden Showcase Handicap (1000m) on debut.
The two-year-old filly jumped from outside gate, was wide throughout and had the audacity to fight when challenged at the inside the final 200 metres, eventually kicked away from her rivals.
She scored by three quarters of a length from the well-backed Protostar ($2.90), with Sweet Biscuit ($15) a half neck away in third.
Olive knew he had a nice filly on his hands but wasn't sure just how she would measure up in a competitive maiden.
"I've just been thinking, I've got such a nice filly here the last few weeks and when I got here today, I just thought gee this is a good race," Olive said.
"They want to back five of them so I lost a bit of confidence.
"But when she paraded I was very happy with her so I thought she would get her chance."
Olive has had a nice opinion of the Wandjina filly for a while but revealed the sad passing of her breeder, Callum Beaton, held her debut up.
"We had her ready to go last prep but unfortunately the owner I brought her off, Callum, he passed away last year so I had trouble getting the transfers over so I just had to wait," Olive explained.
"Then she got hurt when she was meant to trial."
Olive was thrilled with the win and will let the dust settle before he looks for her next assignment.
"We'll just see how she pulls up. She's a nice horse, she's a really nice horse," he said.
"She's probably one of the most up-and-coming horses that I've had for a while."
Brendan Ward was the winning jockey, sticking with the filly after riding her in a Sapphire Coast barrier trial win last week.
Meantime, the Sydney stable of Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou struck early, winning the first race of Wagga Town Plate day.
Shirvo ($2.20) looked beat but dug deep for jockey Jay Ford, fighting back along the inside to down Mr Rock It ($7) by a nose in the Audi Centre Wagga 2YO Showcase Handicap (1200m).
Ryan was pleased to get on the right end of the photo finish.
"On the line I thought I did but a few of the locals around me said I got beat," Ryan said.
"He's a nice two-year-old, he's got good ability but he's still learning his craft.
"I don't think he's giving 110 per cent but a big horse like him, a big two-year-old, he can only improve as he gets older and he'll improve when he gets a genuine firm track underneath him too."
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