A Group One pedigree was to the fore at Matamata where Griffin opened his career in perfect fashion.
The well-related son of Iffraaj was overlooked in the betting, but the chestnut defied Wednesday's market to impressively win the Don Griffith Trenching Ltd 1200.
A brother to stablemate and dual Group One New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts, Griffin is now likely to be spell in preparation for his three-year-old season.
"Both of his more recent trials were pretty good and we were going to put him out, but he did deserve a crack at this," said Stephen Autridge, who trains with Jamie Richards.
A tardy start resulted in Griffin settling further off the pace than anticipated, but it made no difference to the 16-1 chance and he finished strongly in the straight to down the favourite Mongolian Beauty.
"He got to the line really well, and like his brother, the further he goes the better he'll be," Autridge said.
Griffin was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis from Taranaki breeder Chris Thompson for $90,000 through Gavelhouse.com. Thompson has retained 10 per cent and is among the Te Akau Slam Dunk Syndicate which race the promising chestnut.