Warrnambool galloper Tuvalu emerged as a serious contender for the $200,000 Winter Championship Final on July 2 following an impressive victory by the Lindsey Smith-trained galloper in Saturday's $130,000 David Bourke at Flemington.
Tuvalu beat Visinari by a long neck with Sir Davy more than two lengths away in third spot while Mystery Shot, a stablemate of Tuvalu, made good ground over the concluding stages to run fourth.
Smith is chasing his second Winter Championship Final after winning the feature with Reykjavik in 2019.
"Tuvalu is going super," the multiple group one-winning trainer said.
"He's won two of his three starts in this preparation and with a bit of luck it may have been three wins.
"We've always had a big opinion of Tuvalu. He's an above average galloper. His fitness has improved with each run under his belt.
"I was happy with his work after his last-start second-placing at Flemington. We'll take him home and get him down to the beach for some recovery work after this win to get him ready for the final of the Winter Championship. I think the final looks an ideal race for Tuvalu."
Smith has his fingers crossed Mystery Shot may have amassed enough points to squeeze his way into the Winter Championship final too.
"Mystery Shot is running in good form," he said.
"I thought he may have been a bit further back in the run than we first hoped but he hit the line hard.
"He's had the four runs from a spell and is ready to show his best. His chances in the Winter Championship final would be enhanced if the track was in the soft to heavy range."
Tuvalu, who has won six of his 10 starts, took his stake earnings to nearly $300,000 with Saturday's victory.
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