Champion Queensland stallion Hidden Dragon produced his first stakes winner with Hollowlea scoring in the $125,000 Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Hollowlea ($18,$26) was ridden superbly behind the leading bunch by Nicholas Hall who bided his time, balancing up in the straight before angling off heels and sprinting well to win by almost two lengths from the fast finishing Altius ($8,$11) with a just a short half head to Censor ($3.20,$3.30,$2.60) third.
The three-year-old son of Hidden Dragon by Cabaret Girl (a Scenic mare) showed a liking for the heavy going and no ill effects from his fall, just a fortnight ago, according to trainer Terry O'Sullivan.
"I was pleased when Nick (Hall) chose to stay with him after the fall, he must've thought he was travelling well before he went down," said O'Sullivan.
"There was of course a question mark over how he would go on a heavy track for the first time but I always thought he'd handle the soft ground as he seems to at home."
O'Sullivan attributed the ease of the win to the colt drawing a good gate and wouldn't rule out the Guineas as a possible goal this preparation.
Hollowlea After The Win
"A good barrier makes a massive difference, especially when you get the run of the race," said O'Sullivan.
"I'd love to think he would be up to the Guineas, but I don't know if he is there yet."
Purchased for just $36,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Select Sale by a long time client of O'Sullivan's, Kingsley Peach, the well performed youngster has already surpassed the outlay with the listed win taking his career earnings to more than $100,000.
"We have had a bit of luck with them over the years," said O'Sullivan.
"This horse has had a trouble free prep, besides being tangled up in the fall, and hopefully that continues."
Although Hollowlea is the first stakes winner for Hidden Dragon the second season sire already has a number of well performed progeny knocking on the door with both Obsidian Dragon and Steel Dragon having placed at Stakes level.
Hidden Dragon currently stands at Lyndhurst Stud for $13,200.
Photos by Fiona Tomlin