The well-bred Infinite Wisdom overcame a wide gate to score a brilliant win on debut in the $75,000 Mister Yeoh 2018 Stakes Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Sunday.
Half the battle was won when the All Too Hard three-year-old beat rivals on his inside for speed to settle on the steel after 300m.
Well rated by champion apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong, Infinite Wisdom ($47) still had the close attention of odds-on favourite Day Approach (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) and Bruce Alnaughty (Joseph See) to contend with into the home straight.
But Stephen Gray’s new acquisition for stalwart owner Paul Hickman of St George Stable still had plenty left in the locker.
With Day Approach taking a while to warm up on the inside and Bruce Alnaughty unable to muster that killer blow, Infinite Wisdom kept at it to go and stride in with 1 ¼ lengths to spare.
Day Approach only began to stretch out inside the last 50m to claim second place by a neck from Bruce Alnaughty. The winning time was 1min 11.12secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
Gray said Infinite Wisdom needed a good dose of patience at the barriers before the penny dropped.
“He was quite naughty in the barriers, he sat down in there at a couple of trials,” said the Kiwi trainer.
“He was terrible with his jumps, too. He was ready to race before the COVID-19, but we had to bring him back to barrier education.
“The starters helped us a lot. The boys did a good job, he jumped away clean, and won his last barrier trial.
“But we weren’t sure how he would go at his first start, especially from a wide barrier, but he was well behaved today.
“I told Simon that if he jumped well, to go forward and keep him out of trouble. He showed ability, he was impressive.
“He showed tremendous speed but had to work early, and he did it well. Simon was very impressed with him, and I think he’ll go on to become a very good horse.
“Paul seems to have found another good horse.”
Gray said it was his bloodstock agent Garry Carvell who spotted Infinite Wisdom’s lineage at the Gold Coast Magic Million Yearling Sale last year.
“He’s related to a very good horse Paul had in New Zealand, King Raedwald. We brought him up here but he broke down before he got to the races,” said Gray.
A four-time winner in New Zealand, King Raedwald is by Red Ransom and out of Lady Circles, just like Infinite Wisdom’s dam Sencircles, and who is a daughter of the great Circles Of Gold, mother of Australian greats Elvstroem and Haradasun.
“Garry picked him out at the sales, but at the ring, he was not around for some reason, and we bought him for A$70,000, which is cheap,” Gray continued.
“Paul took a share and we kept a quarter share. He thought he’d send him up here for the two-year-old races, but after they were cancelled, he will go for the three-year-old races.
“As for his name, we were sitting around for drinks one night, and Paul said: ‘in my infinite wisdom’. That’s a great saying from Paul, he likes to say that, and that’s how we named the horse.
“Paul has a lot of infinite wisdom, anyway!”