Stakes-placed Excess Funds has begun his first campaign since being gelded with a confidence-boosting victory at Flemington.
Trained at the track by Levi Kavanagh, Excess Funds was placed in the Listed Lightning Stakes in Adelaide as a late-season two-year-old last year.
He was tried again at stakes level during the Melbourne spring without success and the decision was made to geld him.
Excess Funds resumed in Sunday’s Tick Homes Plate (1000m) on the Rapid Racing program and the $2.10 favourite scored a long-head win over Danehill Stakes placegetter Express Pass ($3).
Kavanagh believes Excess Funds will get back to stakes level but first will be aimed at the $500,000 Inglis Dash (1100m) at Caulfield in mid-March.
“He’s more mature from his three-year-old spring campaign and better behaved as well,” Kavanagh said.
“He was doing enough to show me that he was up to running in those races the spring. He was a colt too so you’ve got to head to those races heading into the Coolmore Stud Stakes if you want to make a colt.
“He just wasn’t really putting in and doing on race day what he was showing us at home. So we had to come to a decision and geld him. And now he can keep his mind on the job and he’s not doing silly things wrong in the running.”
The meeting featured a jockeys’ challenge with country jockeys and metropolitan jockeys and Excess Funds was ridden by Jason Maskiell who was part of the country team.
Maskiell is based in Victoria but hails from Tasmania and gave up some strong rides at Sunday’s Hobart Cup meeting, including Bow Mistress Stakes winner Zargos.
He hoped riding for different trainers on the city stage would open more opportunities for him in Melbourne.
“At the end of the day I’ve got to think that this is where my station is, in Melbourne and Victoria, and you’ve got to look after where you are based,” Maskiell said.
“I’ll go down for the Launceston Cup.
“To get rides on a day like today and deliver, it’s good. Hopefully I’ll get more opportunities from it and it can open some good opportunities for us country jocks.”