Irish import Moktaffy lands first Australian win

Former Irish galloper Moktaffy has appreciated a slowing run race and a rise in distance to land his maiden victory.

Success in the IVE>Print Maiden Plate at Sandown on Wednesday was the son of Lope De Vega’s first in nine starts.

Moktaffy had his first seven starts in Ireland before joining the Chris Waller stable and after his Australian debut, when fifth behind Can’t Go Wong at Sandown in maiden grade on December 8.

Ridden by Brett Prebble, Moktaffy ($5) scored by a length from Ebony King ($17) with Heljinsky ($16) a nose away in third place.

Can’t Be Wong came out two races later to claim the Ladbrokes Bet Ticker Handicap.

Jo Taylor, in charge of the Melbourne stable for Waller, said Moktaffy had taken benefit from his Australian debut over 1400m two weeks ago.

“He’s come on from his Australian debut and was slightly out in distance today and it was certainly a lovely ride from Brett,” Taylor said.

“From that tricky barrier, he rode the horse to suit because if we were too far back, I think he would not have been the type of horse that would not have been able to sustain a long sprint.

“He certainly made his own luck and got the win today.”

Prebble took the initiative to ride Moktaffy forward after jumping smartly.

He said the lack of pace early in the race suited as he was able to place the gelding in the right position.

“He’s only a little fella but he put himself in the right position,” Prebble said.

“He got to top gear pretty quickly and maintained it all the way to the line. He hasn’t really got a turn of foot but once he hits top gear, he holds it, maintains it.

“I think a little longer in trip will help him.

“He’s a pleasing type of horse and wants to give you everything.”

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