BENDIGO trainer Matthew Enright hopes a hard-fought win over the mile at Echuca on Monday can be a bit of a turning point in the career of Tibetan.
The now five-year-old showed more than good promise as a youngster in New Zealand, placing twice at Group or Listed level as well as finishing fourth at Group 2 level before making his way to Michael Hickmott's stable at Murray Bridge.
Tibetan was quick to knock over his maiden after arriving in South Australia, winning on a heavy 8 over 1516m in August last year.
But despite a swag of seven placings from his next 13 starts in South Australia, win number two had proven elusive.
A change in trainer and environment has paid early dividends, with the gelded son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking winning first-up for his new trainer on Monday.
Enright could not have been happier with the performance of his new arrival, who came from sixth at the 400m to run past the breakaway leader Fair Go, and outlasted the Kilmore-trained Second Nature in the run to the post.
The Bendigo trainer was quick to pass on his thanks to Hickmott for sending Tibetan to him in great condition.
"There wasn't a lot of suitable races for him in Adelaide, so Mr Heptinstall (owner Tommy Heptinstall) sent him over to Victoria and to give me a crack with him," he said.
"It was a solid win, I thought. He presented a bit burly to me, but he stuck it out well. I'm suitably impressed with how he stuck to his guns because he probably hasn't done that for a while.
"He's a long time between drinks. His New Zealand form was outstanding behind Two Illicit and six-lengths (behind) Probabeel, so there was a bit of form there early doors, but he has certainly tapered off.
"Let's hope he can continue on."
While finding the right races may have proven problematic across the border, Enright is confident that will no longer be an issue from his new base.
"We are blessed here in Victoria, there is a smorgasbord (of races) on offer, especially at this time of year," he said.
"So we march on to the next start."
Tibetan was Enright's first runner at the races since February this year.
His last winner was in January when Captain Meringue won a 2455m maiden at Geelong.
Winning jockey Harry Coffey praised an accomplished performance by Tibetan, who had finished top three 14 times in his previous 24 starts, but with only one win.
"I probably went (for home) a little bit sooner than I should have - I got a bit over-concerned with how far in front the leader (Fair Go) was, (but it) was probably always going to stop," he said.
"I fell into chasing it, but I probably could have sat in behind Tahlia (Tahlia Hope on Second Nature) for longer, but when I went that encouraged her to come with me and she nearly fought back and beat me.
"I nearly made a mess of it, but the horse was too good.
"He was keen early, but with the hot tempo, I was able to get into a bit of a rhythm. I'd say she's got a bit of class on them and that's why she won."
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