He's got a long, long way to go to recoup his purchase price, but Conqueror at least assured direction towards some of the Spring Carnival's biggest three-year-old events with an effortless victory at Racing.com Park (Pakenham) on Tuesday.
The Lindsay Park-trained colt, a son of Fastnet Rock and Group 1-winning mare Diademe who cost $1 million at last year's Karaka Yearling Sale, cruised home by seven lengths in the $23,000 Evergreen Turf Maiden Plate (1400m).
It was Conqueror's first start since a late-summer preparation that generated second and fifth placings in mid-week events at Sandown and was confirmation to co-trainer Ben Hayes that he was worthy of a shot at some spring riches.
"We really think he's a horse that will be competing in the big races in the spring, so it's really exciting to see him do that," Hayes said.
"We'll probably back off him a bit. I think there's a race on the 10th (of August at Flemington) over 1400 that he'll head to and from there we'll build."
Although officially sent off the $1.45 favourite, there were 12 cents' worth of deductions from Conqueror's price owing to the late scratching of the $7 second elect Beat It Justbeatit.
In winning by seven lengths, Conqueror stopped the clock at 1:25.56, which was just over 1.5 seconds outside the Pakenham synthetic 1400-metre record of 1:23.96.
Conqueror's win was the first leg of a running double for Lindsay Park and jockey Luke Nolen, who also carried Coolmore's navy colours to victory in the following event.
Nolen guided Memphis Rock, a daughter of Fastnet Rock who is a sister to Lake Geneva and Ennis Hill, to a two-length win in the Gippsland Premium Quarries Maiden Plate (1200m).
The $2.60 favourite, Memphis Rock's victory was part of a dream run for favourite backers on the first half of the card, with Conqueror's win preceded by wins to Almighty Will ($2.60 fav), who is also prepared by Lindsay Park, and the David Bourne-trained Savannahlander ($2.20 fav).
Sansom ($2.20) made it five in a row for favourites to start the program when he took out the fifth event.
Evergreen Turf Maiden Plate, photo finish picture Racing.com