Champagne Ready has broken through for her maiden win at Sandown despite almost ruining her chances at the start.
Having just her second raceday outing, the Chris Waller-trained mare was slow out of the gates and had to work hard late to win Wednesday's Maiden Plate (1000m), impressing jockey Craig Williams with her turn of foot.
Well supported to run second favourite at $3.10, Champagne Ready got up in the final stride to score by a short-half-head from I Boogi ($2.80 fav) with debutant San Vincenzo ($12) 1-1/2 lengths away third.
Williams said the start could have been costly for Champagne Ready who also wanted to run around in the straight.
"They were very confident with her coming in here," Williams said.
"The start was going to end her chance but she has an amazing finish.
"She's still very raw with a high head carriage, but she's got a good motor."
Champagne Ready's victory was the first in the metropolitan area for Johanne Taylor as foreperson at Waller's Melbourne stable.
Taylor has been in the role for the past five weeks and has travelled horses overseas for Waller since joining the Sydney stable in 2011.
She says the stable has 23 in work in Melbourne which leaves just five open boxes which will be quickly filled with the spring carnival approaching.
Grade B - Ballymore Eustace Handicap Hurdle
Grade B - Three.ie H'cap Steeplechase
G1 - Ryanair Nov Chase
G1 - Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
G1 - Nz Oaks