A maiden event at Australian country track Bairnsdale proved a crucial piece of form as jockey Brett Prebble continued his fling with the progeny of cast-out stallion Churchill Downs yesterday.
Churchill Downs had been a disappointment at stud for Coolmore and, when Super Lifeline was stringing a few wins together a year or two back, his trainer Tony Millard pointed out that every stallion left one decent one and that Churchill Downs was now standing in Libya.
Well, that one good one has turned into at least a few more handy ones, with Popping Candy, Solar Hei Hei and now Winston's Lad victorious in Hong Kong this season.
Prebble has had a successful link with triple winner Solar Hei Hei and said Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained Winston's Lad showed all the characteristics of a horse with some upside after winning at his debut.
"He's very genuine and gives you all he has, which is not unlike Solar Hei Hei, so I'm surprised the stallion wasn't a success," he said.
Last year, Winston's Lad had made his racecourse debut in a bush maiden at Bairnsdale, some way out from Melbourne, and finished second - a sound effort which has got a lot sounder with time as the horse which beat him was leading Classic Mile candidate Sun Jewellery.
"Actually, I didn't know that until I read it in the paper yesterday," said Lui. "It was the first start for both of them I think so maybe it isn't really a guide to Winston's Lad as Sun Jewellery has improved a lot. But my horse had done everything right since he arrived and it isn't easy to win first time out, so he's doing a good job.
"He will improve but I don't think he will be a Classic Mile horse - whatever level he's going to reach, I am not thinking about Group Ones and his best won't be seen until next year anyway."