Harbour Views’ long and colourful journey to his racetrack debut enjoyed the perfect ending when the French import landed an almighty betting plunge to win the Warrnambool Locksmiths Maiden Plate (1400m).
His supporters had their moments, however, as he drifted back off the pace before unleashing a big sprint in the straight to tip out the second favourite, Shamal Lass.
Trainer Matthew Williams was riding the emotion of the race also as he’s long-planned the debut of the rising five-year-old.
“He settled nicely in the run but just from the half-mile onwards it started to get a bit sticky there and when they got to the corner I thought ‘Oh god, we’re in an awful spot here’,” Williams said.
“But the big plus for this horse and why I think he’s going to go through his grades and win a good race somewhere is that he’s got a great change-up gear and he was able to bring himself into the race.
“Once he’s had a bit of racing and once he learns a bit more, I can’t wait to see him over 2000 metres one day but whether that’s next prep, we’ll see.”
Not all was as rosy with the horse when he was in France, according to Terry Henderson, whose OTI Racing part-owns the impressive galloper.
“Luca Cumani bought him as a yearling package for us and he really had a mixed start to his career,” Henderson explained.
“We got a call one day to say he was going to the Newmarket hospital to be put down because he pulled a muscle but they thought he’d broken a leg.
“It’s a great credit to my partners in this horse because they allowed me to bring him out as an unraced horse, which is a bit of a risk.
“I really do think that he’s got the makings of a good horse. Maybe not the spring, but next autumn.”
Henderson said the owners didn’t only nearly lose the horse to an untimely death.
“It was Luca’s staff that told me he was something special because Luca had put him in a horses-in-training sale and I said ‘pull him out’ as the boys back there were saying they thought he was pretty good,” Henderson added.
Article by Andrew Eddy (Racing.com)