Hall team have a new Best Friend
Tender might have been how David Hall came to train Best Friend but there was nothing tender in the way he put his San Domenico Handicap rivals to the sword in Class Four like a horse destined for better.
The four-year-old had been something of a 'boofhead' earlier in the season under Paul O'Sullivan but what a difference six months has made - and Hall and owner Jaime Sze Wine-him have been the major beneficiaries.
'I was trying to buy the owner a yearling and we bid on a few in Australia, but they were very expensive, too expensive,' Hall said after watching Brett Prebble enjoy an armchair ride as part of the jockey's treble.
'Then this horse came up for sale by tender here and I had a good look at him and said to Jaime that here was a decent and lightly raced horse, ready to go and with a bit of pedigree that suggested he might train on as a stayer,' Hall said.
'It was a better option than trying to pay too much for a baby, so he put in a good tender and we got him and this has been an early reward.'
The gelding has improved out of sight since his early one-paced starts, with Best Friend showing a real turn of foot yesterday.
'I think that little shower of rain we had early in the day probably helped him,' said Prebble. 'It was just enough to take the real fire out of the track.
'When he ran first time for David, he sprinted but then he just felt the ground a bit, as well as his condition giving out, and didn't quite go through with it. But today, he really let go when I went for him.'
Hall is looking forward to the future with Best Friend now as a progressive youngster whose destiny probably won't be over yesterday's 1,400m trip.
'He's by Scenic out of a Zabeel mare, so he's got a nice background and he's got scope to run a distance. I think there's a bit of fun ahead with him,' Hall said.