Visao (Image: Racing Photos)
The race was resurrected just last year to help foster the staying-bred juvenile and on Saturday at Flemington the Listed Byerley Handicap may have unearthed a spring star in the form of High Chaparral colt Visao.
The Victoria Racing Club not only reintroduced the 1800-metre late-season race for two-year-olds but made the winner exempt for the ballot for the spring's distance classic and the AAMI Victoria Derby is now firmly on the agenda of the Ciaron Maher-trained colt.
Maher's racing manager Dave Eustace said Visao would be given a short break and put on the path to the Derby in the first week of November.
"We can dare to dream," declared Eustace. "We can have a little let-up and look towards the race. He doesn't necessarily look like he's got loads of scope but for a small horse he's got a good action.
"He's not a big horse but he's actually quite mature.
"He's relatively set now and he's putting on weight in the right areas and his win at Mildura showed he was on an upward curve and he showed today that he's still on that.
"It was a great result. Ciaron picked him out for a relatively cheap price - $50,000 at the Magic Millions. He's a half to a horse in the stable (Reserve Street) that is showing quite a bit of promise."
Visao was settled in just behind the pace but when produced by Damian Lane after turning for home, the $4 chance ran clear to win by a length-and-three-quarters from Nero Chin Chin ($21s into $16), with the same margin to the Zacinto filly Necessitas ($31) in third place.
So You Swing, the $3.70 favourite, settled back near the tail of the field and made some ground in the straight to finish fourth.
Eustace said Visao was not highly sought-after at the sale as he was a small yearling.
"He's not very big. Essentially that is all it was. He's got a big action for a small fellow. But Ciaron liked him and so it's another testament to his buying ability," Eustace said.