Kootingal boutique breeder James Green had an extra spring in his step this week in the midst of the breakthrough win by Dixie Rouge at Tamworth on Friday.
Dixie Rouge, prepared by Michelle Fleming, floored the bulk of punters when he saluted at 30-1 in the Ashcroft Property Maiden Plate (1200m).
He also became the first winner sired by Dixie Prospect, an American-bred stallion imported by Green back in 2012 to stand at Tanglewood Farm.
"I wanted to find a stallion that one had no Danehill blood and two would provide a bloodline which had a point of difference to increase the gene pool," Green said.
"He was plagued by injury during his race track career, but won the Listed King Charles Stakes at his fourth start and also won over a mile in America."
Dixie Prospect has covered a limited amount of mares, but with his progeny now hitting the track, that number is tipped to increase.
"He's had a handful of starters, including one based at Murwillumbah, which has had four starts for three seconds and another in Gunnedah, which has had two starts," he said.
"So it's great to see him land that first winner, especially in Tamworth."
The only minor disappointment for Green was the fact he was tied up with other duties at the farm that he was unable to be on course as Dixie Rouge passed the winning post.
"I couldn't get there and did not have a zac on it, and it won at a big price," he said.
"Even so I'm delighted for Phil and Trisha Lyne, who bred and own Dixie Rouge."
Tamworth based trainer Fleming was on course however, and had a huge grin on her face as jockey Ben Looker brought the three year old gelding back to scale after it pipped the Craig Martin trained Bullet Kid by a head with Paul Perry’s Gladwin a half length behind.
“I knew he had ability and knew he had really good ability,” Fleming said.
“It’s still young and a tall horse so he just had to put it all together and find his feet.”
“It was a really good run.”
Fleming gave Dixie Rouge a last start in Armidale before Christmas where it recorded a tenth, five lengths behind winner Prada Miss, although the tall gelding was not suited to the New England track.
“I think the track was too tight for him in Armidale,” Fleming said.
“Conditions were a bit better in Tamworth, he got good cover and he could wind up a bit down the nice long straight.”
“He has been a good horse to train and we will see how he pulls up before deciding where to next.”
Fleming had another runner in the last, the Easters Sand and Soil Benchmark 65 1200m.
Slippery Eel finishing sixth behind the Scott Thompson trained So You Know, although it too had Ben Looker on board.
Fellow Tamworth trainer Sue Grills claimed second with Serg Lisnny on board Market Guru while Jane Clement’s Desert Marshall finished third.