St Lawrence produced a heroic first-up performance over 1400 metres at Caulfield where the talented son of Redwood added to his burgeoning record.
Bred by Gerry Harvey who remains in the ownership group, the four-year-old was making his first appearance on Saturday for four months and was presented in tip-top order by trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
St Lawrence paid the price of an outside gate when he was forced to cover extra ground in midfield in the hands of jockey Ben Allen.
The gelding improved near the turn and hit the front 300 metres from home and fought grimly under pressure to post his fifth victory from six appearances.
“He was caught three wide without cover and we had discussed that pre-race with Ben and were happy to be there if it was meant to be,” stable representative Jack Turnbull said.
“Full credit to the horse, he dug deep and went again late when the other horse came at him.
“He’s a big lad and wants a lot of space, stop and start doesn’t suit him, so first -up it was a very good effort.
“The Ballarat stable has done a great job with him, they had him cherry-ripe for this and he’s performed accordingly.
“There’s a race in a month of the same class and trip which he’ll go to. There’s not a lot else for him and we’ll tip toe through the winter and if he responds and progresses there’s obviously the spring.”
Rider Allen said while the margin of victory was slender, he always felt he was on the winner.
“The way he let down at the top of the straight, I thought nothing would be able to come to me, so I was a bit surprised when the other horses came up next to me.
“They caught me by surprise a little bit, but I hadn’t fully tested and gone for my horse at that stage.
“I gave him a few with the whip and he lengthened stride and he was tough to the line. I was confident he was always going to get there.”
St Lawrence was a debut winner at Hastings in April, 2022, from the stable of the now retired Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.
Harvey remained in the ownership when a syndicate, including high-profile owner Ozzie Kheir, bought into the gelding in a deal brokered by Maher’s bloodstock manager Will Bourne and he relocated across the Tasman.
St Lawrence is out of the Encosta De Lago mare Bacio Del Vinto, also the dam of the Group 3 Manawatu Cup winner Marroni.
Bacio Del Vinto is a daughter of the dual Group 1 winner Lotteria with former Singapore Champion, Group 2 McEwen Stakes winner and Group 1 performer The Inferno featuring in the pedigree.