South Australian galloper Alcohol proved himself to be more than merely an intriguing name with a dominant victory in the Spotless Handicap at Flemington on Saturday.
Alcohol registered his third win from four starts this preparation in a race that was the strongest he's contested, encouraging trainer Richard Jolly to look for even better and longer races.
"He doesn't have an extremely stout pedigree, but he's very relaxed," Jolly said.
"So I'm thinking he'll handle 2400 (metres) at least."
Alcohol ($5.50) got his name from one of his 20-or-so owners who works for the winemaker Penfolds who presumptuously assumed the horse would prompt a lot of celebration.
Alcohol's 1-1/2 length win over Dark Note ($51) gave the connections their fourth reason to break out the champagne at the same time providing proof the horse had overcome the problems of last autumn that cost him his chance in the South Australian Derby.
Jolly got the horse to the post for the Classic, but admitted he'd never been going well enough to be competitive.
"He was never quite right during his Derby preparation so I sent him away for a good rest and he's come back in terrific order," he said.
Alcohol won first-up over 1400m at Morphettville and last start scored over 1600m at the same track, convincing Jolly he deserved a chance in Melbourne.
"There aren't that many races for him at home so we thought he was worth a shot at the better money in Melbourne," he said.
"Now that he's shown he's up to it I'm hoping he's got another one in him while the better horses are out."