Secessio wins first Australian race
Caryl Williamson
07:23 AEST Sun Feb 3 2013

The Brisbane Cup is the long-range mission for Secessio who has claimed his first Australian win from four starts since leaving his native Germany.

One of the army of European imports in the Chris Waller stable, Secessio was comfortable on Saturday's heavy 10 track, giving his trainer confidence the winter feature would be a realistic target.

Sent out the $4 favourite in the Glen Curtis Handicap (2000m), Secessio travelled midfield and settled down for a fight with Melbourne visitor Angola ($5) in the straight.

Secessio prevailed by a short neck with Court Connection ($17) making ground late to finish another length away third.

"He handled the track and showed a bit of grit which was pleasing," Waller said.

"It's his first Australian win and with these horses the first one is the hardest to get.

"He is close to a spell in the paddock so we might just give him a short break.

"He has the right credentials for a Brisbane Cup. He would have to win a race or two beforehand but now we know he handles the wet which he could strike in Brisbane in June."

Secessio won two races in Germany including the Listed Derby Trial at Baden Baden in May last year.

Waller's success with second tier English imports has helped push their price up and he is now targeting other more affordable markets such as Germany.

Surprisingly for a European, Secessio arrived with little experience of tracks classed in Australia as slow or heavy.

But those conditions are relative with New Zealand jockey Jason Collett joking that Rosehill could not be categorised as heavy.

"At home this would be on the better side of slow," Collett said after wearing the Darley colours to victory aboard Bello.

"We copped a lot of rain here this morning and the track's playing really well."

New Zealand's premier apprentice last season, Collett has made a permanent move to Sydney and has established himself in the top 10 after spending time with Waller as a junior rider.

He has only had a handful of rides for Sheikh Mohammed's operation and made the most of the opportunity in the 1400m handicap.

Bello ($5.50) held off Palasport ($21) by a short neck with another Darley horse, Soledad, third as the $2.90 favourite.

Collett's momentum will be temporarily halted as he begins a careless riding suspension on Sunday which will keep him out of the Expressway Stakes meeting at Warwick Farm.

"I'm going home to New Zealand to clear my head," he said.

"I'll have a break and come back ready to go."

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