*Article by Ray Thomas for racenet
Just Fine, who was the first winner raced by His Majesty King Charles III, made an impressive Australian debut at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Just Fine settled on speed then forged clear to score a decisive win in the Ikon Services Handicap (1600m).
Both trainers were celebrating their birthday on Saturday but only Bott was on track and he revealed the interesting backstory about the new stable recruit.
Bott revealed that King Charles inherited the racing team previously owned by his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Just Fine was his first winner.
But Just Fine was then entered for a dispersal sale where he was purchased to race in Australia with the Waterhouse and Bott stable.
"I think he's a very nice, progressive horse,'' Bott said. "We are hoping he develops into a contender for The Metropolitan later this spring.''
Just Fine ($11) was ridden by Rachel King to an easy two-and-a-half lengths win from Tazaral ($3.40 favourite) with Logan Street Lion ($7.50) a close third.
A six-year-old gelding by former champion English racehorse and leading sire Sea The Stars, Just Fine had won three of his 14 starts overseas at 1600m and 2000m (twice).
But Bott is confident Just Fine will get out over further and stay a strong 2400m for the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick on September 30.
"We feel Just Fine is a progressive horse and he should be able to get out over further,'' Bott said.
"He's really settled in well since joining our stable and he has been quite sharp in his trials so we were expecting him to run a very good race today.''
Nominations for The Metropolitan and Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) will be released early in the week.
TBB Racing race a small share in European import Just Fine.