Trainer Colin Little may have a little more money to spend on yearlings this week in New Zealand following the first-up win of Navagio at Flemington today.
Little is one of a number of leading Melbourne trainers in New Zealand for the upcoming sale at Karaka.
Having her first start since the spring, Navagio came from back and wide in the field to take out the Doriemus Handicap (1100m). Ridden by Michael Dee, Navagio scored a half-length win over the $2.70 favourite Jennifer Lynn.
Assistant trainer Matt Lindsay hopes Navagio, a daughter of leading young New Zeaand stallion Zacinto, can rise to black type level during the autumn.
"She's a nice filly and this was a little unexpected today," Lindsay said. "This race came up a little soon and she was probably half a trial short, so it's a bit of a bonus that she's won and we can now plan a program for her.
"I thought they would be a little speedy for her today but she was able to run over the top of them, which was a nice bonus."
Lindsay said Little had plans to step Navagio up to a least 1600 metres during the autumn, but more importantly to try to claim some black type for her owner, former Victoria Racing Club chairman Rod Fitzroy.
Dee said he was expecting a good run from Navagio, but was surprised with the ease of her victory.
"The race turned out perfectly for us," he said. "She relaxed beautifully. That was the key so she'll get further in the future."
Little paid $40,000 for Navagio at the Karaka sale two years ago and will no doubt be checking out her three-quarter-brother, by Zacinto out of the Mosssman mare I've Got Rhythm, before he goes through the ring on Monday afternoon.