FORMER European stayer Napoleon, imported to Australia three-and-a-half years ago by his Maitland owner Brad Canty, won only his third race when he outstayed his rivals in the Hunter Stayers Cup (2900 metres) at Newcastle on Saturday.
Trained at Warwick Farm by Jarrod Austin, the powerful eight-year-old gelding, ridden by Mitchell Bell, was a $5.50 chance in a wide betting race.
Bell allowed Napoleon to drop out to the tail of the field in the marathon event before unleashing him at the home turn.
Napoleon quickly went to the lead in the straight and he went to the line full of running to win by two lengths.
The well-backed favourite Red Dream ($3.60) raced on strongly for second, while Newcastle stayer Serious Hoffa ($8.50) was a grinding third, three-and-a-half lengths behind the winner.
Napoloeon has a penchant for Newcastle as his previous two wins were on the old track before it was closed down and rebuilt.
Canty, well known in the greyhound industry where he has raced group 1 winners, purchased Napoloen from his German owners after the horse had been placed in two of his six starts.
Canty retained a 50 per cent share and a large group of owners shared the other half.
Austin said Napoleon, which has three wins and 10 placings in 23 starts, was “the healthiest he’s been” and was enjoying his best campaign.
“I will send him back to the paddock for a freshen-up on Monday,’’ he said. “We might have a crack at the Newcastle Cup.’’
Newcastle mare Princess Pattern, bought by Christie Perry for $2500 at a Scone yearling sale, took her prizemoney to more than $68,000 with an impressive win in the Class 2 Handicap.