TRAINER Mitch Beer is optimistic Branders Rule could measure up to city class in the spring after making an impressive debut at Wodonga on Saturday.
Despite most of his rivals having the benefit of race experience Branders Rule proved too slick in the $25,000 Jack Maher Classic, (1200m) with Rhys McLeod aboard.
"I've always had an opinion of the horse and the win justified my decision to make his debut in an open 2YO and not a maiden," Beer said.
"I knew what he lacked in race experience, he made-up with ability.
"But he still had to overcome a few hurdles.
"Going the Victorian-way for the first time, having to travel across the Border the night before and staying away from his usual surrounds.
"Then one horse got loose at the start and he was in the barriers for quite a while.
"So there were quite a few factors where he could of lost the plot but he showed maturity."
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Branders Rule enjoyed the run of the race, sitting one out and one back.
McLeod peeled out three wide on the home turn and Branders Rule ($16) surged to the lead at the 100m mark and was too good for Stenmark ($4.20).
Race favourite Pig In Mud ($2.45) finished third.
Branders Rule is a half-brother to Beer's classy mare Sky Call and share the same dam in Hermila.
The pair handed Beer a unique double as the only trainer to capture the Country Championship qualifier and the Jack Maher Classic.
"Sky Call has got better with time but they are two very different horses," he said.
"The mare has been highly strung most of her career and it has taken a lot of racing to get her to relax and switch-off.
"In contrast Branders Rule was on debut but looked more like a horse that had had 20-starts.
"He begun well, had to check of the heels of another runner, relaxed in the run and then showed a good turn of foot in the straight.
"So it was a professional debut and I would like to think he could be stretched out to the mile as a three-year-old - no problem."
Branders Rule will now head to the paddock and Beer said he wouldn't put a ceiling on what his colt could achieve as a three-year-old.
"The horse he beat in Stenmark had six previous starts and had been placed in town so that gives me a bit of confidence," he said.
"Stenmark was also a $400,00 yearling and had the benefit of race experience while Branders Rule hadn't even had a jump out until the start of this preparation.
"I will nominate him for the Caulfield Guineas in the spring.
"It's a lofty goal but I will dare to dream."