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Irish import Xebec lands first Australian win at Doomben

By Glenn Davis

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller maintained his dominance in Brisbane staying races when Irish import Xebec scored his first Australian win at Doomben on Saturday.

Xebec, ridden by former South African Robbie Fradd, led all the way to down Irish Optimism by 2-1/4 lengths in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (2220m).

Backhouse Billy was third, a further one length away.

Waller opened a satellite stable on the Gold Coast last August and is already in sixth place in the Brisbane trainers’ premiership after Xebec gave him his 24th metropolitan winner.

Waller sent Xebec north to bypass the harder races in Sydney during the autumn carnival and the six-year-old showed he wouldn’t take long to break through after placing at his first two starts at Doomben and the Gold Coast this month.

Exbec was runner-up to seasoned stayer Morendi in his Queensland debut on March 10 before finishing second to stablemate Exoteric at the Gold Coast on March 17.

Xebec began his career under trainer John Oxx in Ireland but had not been successful since winning at Bellewstown in August, 2016.

Stable foreman Paul Shailer said the stable’s imported stayers appeared to appreciate racing in Queensland’s warmer climate.

Meanwhile Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie continued his great form but admitted he was surprised when Hinchinstyle rallied late to win the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (2040m).

Hinchinstyle, ridden by apprentice Emma Ljung, snuck up along the rails to edge out Go Dixie by a half head.

Hinchinstyle is a daughter of Hinchinbrook and was having only her sixth start and her first in the metropolitan area.

She was originally trained by Matt Laurie in Victoria before being sent to Currie for her first start when she placed in a maiden at Kilcoy in December.

“It was a surprise to see her win as we’ve been battling away trying to win a maiden in her previous starts,” Currie said.

“I’ve only had her for this preparation but she’s shown she’s very tough.

“I was pretty impressed when she won her maiden at Toowoomba last start and I thought she’d run the trip.”

Hinchinstyle’s win has left Currie with a dilemma as he’s not sure of her immediate future.

“She’s been in work a long time and it’s not ideal to spell them when they’re in-form,” he said.

Racing Queensland webnews    March 31