At Caulfield in Melbourne, Blue Gum Farm's Gr1 winning stallion Turffontein (Johannesburg-Spirit Of Grace, by Dr Grace) added a Group race success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Widgee Turf (Turffontein-Greyhound, by Kala Dancer) posted a well overdue maiden stakes win when scoring a stunning last-to-first win in the $150,000 Gr3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Turnitaround & Ken's Dream. Trainer Patrick Payne was in awe of Widgee Turf's winning performance. "I was amazed he was able to win from where he was," Payne told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. Payne confirmed Widgee Turf would make his next appearance in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Mile at Caulfield on 21 April. "I think the 1600 metres will be ideal for him at this stage of his career," he said. A $4,500 purchase at the 2014 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale, Widgee Turf improved his record to 8 wins and 4 placings from 16 starts for $613,850 in earnings.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a black-type success when 3YO bay colt Highland Beat (Exceed And Excel-Highland Daughter, by Kyllachy) opened his stakes account with a well-deserved win in the $120,000 Listed A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m) for 3YOs, defeating Hay Bale & Ken's Dream. Purchased for $140,000 by Lindsay Park Bloodstock at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Glenlogan Park, Highland Beat improved his record to 3 wins and 7 placings (including the MRC Gr3 Vain Stakes & Gr3 MRC HDF McNeil Stakes) from 20 starts for $284,300 in earnings. Highland Beat became the 134th stakes winner for the world-class Exceed And Excel.
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Emirates Park's 5-time Gr1-winning shuttler Dream Ahead (Diktat-Land Of Dreams, by Cadeaux Genereux) celebrated his first Australian stakes winner when 3YO colt Ken's Dream (Dream Ahead-La Bella Rose, by Shamardal) scored by 1-length for trainer Darren Weir in the $120,000 Listed Mckenzie Stakes (1200m) for 3YO colts & geldings, over 3YO geldings Dam Ready (More Than Ready-Waterwise, by Zabeel) & Throssell (Captain Sonador-O' Venus, by Anabaa). This was the first stakes victory for Ken's Dream who extended his unbeaten record to 2 wins from 2 starts for $106,400 earnings. "It's a hard thing to do to win a maiden in the bush and then to come to town and win a Listed race," trainer Darren Weir told racing.com. "He'll definitely be a seven furlong horse and he might even get out a bit further than that because he's a lovely relaxed horse. He relaxed lovely out in front today and he would relax if he got some cover too." Ken's Dream is a homebred for the McDonald Racing Syndicate and is named in honour of one of his breeders, Ken McDonald.