Property has won the first race of day one of The Championships, cruising to an easy victory in the Group 3 Widden 150th Anniversary Stakes.
Hugh Bowman gave the two-year-old gelding a perfectly timed rails run to finish three and a half lengths clear of Condor Heroes (Mark Zahra) and favourite Sheika (Josh Parr).
“He sprinted very well,” Bowman said.
“He handled the conditions well which was a bit of a question mark but he’s a beautiful colt and I think we’ll see more of him in the springtime.
“I couldn’t see him going beyond a mile, whether he is even a miler I’m not sure, but he’s in the right camp. They will work him out.”
“I always think the programs between Sydney and Melbourne nearly mirror each other so we wouldn’t come here unless there was better races for better horses,” he said.
The leading trainer was full of praise for Property, who was originally sold to Hong Kong but later rejected on x-rays.
“He is a very talented horse,” Smerdon said.
“It was a big ask as a two year old to do what he has done, so it is a testament to the horse’s constitution, naturally his ability but his constitution, to handle it.”
Runner-up Condor Heroes, who was having only his second start, will benefit from the racing experience.
“He ran super but he’s still just a baby,” jockey Mark Zahra said.
“The gates opened and he just stood there. In hindsight, it’s not bad seeing him go back and come through. It adds another string to his bow.”