Improving three-year-old Wide Acclaim made up for some unlucky runs in town with an on-pace victory in the RTS Thoroughbreds Hcp (1200m) at Kembla on Saturday.
Louis Mihalyka of Laurel Oak Bloodstock (FBAA) said it was worth braving the return trip from Sydney amid wild storms to see him surge through a gap for an impressive half-length victory.
Jockey Jess Taylor jumped Wide Acclaim quickly from the gates and settled third on the fence. The inside was considered a little off due to the Heavy 9 surface but he stuck on strongly when challenged by Angel Miss.
Wide Acclaim was coming off close up finishes behind Kangarilla Joy (Rosehill) and River Wild (Randwick) and both those winners have stakes races on the radar. “He’s starting to learn the trade and with time will be a much better horse,” trainer Gary Portelli said. “He will also appreciate some further ground.”
The Congrats three year-old was a $100,000 purchase from Vinery Stud at the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions. His dam Dirty (Hussonet) was a Group 3 winner of the Vo Rogue Plate and she also foaled the Gai Waterhouse trained winner Cabeza De Vaca (Northern Meteor).
Mihalyka is back from Karaka for the Inglis Classic Summer Sale and returned home with colts by Reliable Man ($210,000) and Ocean Park ($120,000).
His Classic Sale buys last year included a $150,000 colt Like A Shot (Smart Missile) with Keith Dryden and the fillies Whytwokay (Domesday) with David Hayes and Rainover Manhattan (Manhattan Rain) who is a stablemate of Wide Acclaim.