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Brolly good … grey skies at Royal Randwick yesterday.Hugh Bowman was delighted to get a fighting win on Mourayan in yesterday’s Craven Plate at Randwick and it is warming as his Melbourne Cup ride. ”He is getting to the top of the list,” Bowman said. ”The options are a bit thin on the ground.” Bowman took off at the 800m, backing the Lloyd Williams galloper’s staying ability. ”He just fights so hard,” Bowman said. While the winner will return to Melbourne, the Bart Cummings-trained Dare To Dream, which came from last to run third, will stay in Sydney and try to get into the Melbourne Cup via the Tattersall’s Cup in two weeks. ”That was very good,” the Cups King offered.
Nanjing Night Net

IN THE NICK OF TIME

Josh Parr got his gear ready in the car before causing an upset with Brilliant Bisc in the Gimcrack Stakes yesterday. ”I was coming down the F3 and it was completely blocked, so I got the old Pacific Highway and got here 25 minutes before the race,” Parr said. ”Once we got to Sydney, I jumped out of the driver’s seat and let dad drive, so I could get my gear ready. I came in and weighed straight out.” Brilliant Bisc, which was a big drifter in betting, starting at $41, made the most of her inside draw by jumping to the front and held off a late challenge from Guelph, which got a little lost in the middle of the track. ”I was confident once I got the soft draw,” Parr said. ”I spoke to [trainer] Peter Moody this morning and we decided it was best to use her biggest asset – her speed. She had trialled well but her work since had been sensational and I was just glad I got here to ride her.”

COLT FROM THE BLUE

It was a Gai Waterhouse quinella in yesterday’s Breeders Plate but not the way punters had thought. Whittington, the $3.20 second pick in betting, raced away from $2.60 favourite War for a three-length win. It handed Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds a second win in the race, with another coming from Sebring which went on to become a Golden Slipper winner. ”I got a bit of convincing to buy this fellow but Gai is very persuasive,” Martin said. ”I didn’t like his [breeding] page but once you saw him he was a magnificent type.” Tom Berry, who rode Whittington, believed the Tale Of The Cat colt was one of the strongest two-year-olds he had ridden. The main worry with him was overcome when the gates opened. He missed the start badly in his trial but got away well yesterday through good luck more than good management.

JOLIE SMART

When Jolie Bay boomed down the centre of the track to win yesterday’s Roman Consul Stakes, owner Jane Barham had many reasons to smile. The group 2 win at only the third start for the filly will pay many times over. ”We have a full-sister in the Magic Millions sale this year and that’s got to help,” Barham said. ”We have been with the Hawkes stable for a long time and we raced her mum Legally Bay with them. We asked who we should send her to when she went to stud and they said Fastnet Rock, and it worked.” Jolie Bay earned a trip to Melbourne with her win.

NO SECRETS

Premier trainer Chris Waller was straight into the stewards room when he got to Randwick yesterday to let them know his tactics for the day. ”This rule means you need to let them know what you’re thinking,” Waller said. ”I just take it on myself to tell them where we think our horses will be.” Chairman of stewards Ray Murrihy appreciated Waller’s professionalism.

CUP RUNNETH DRY

A Flemington upgrade robbed The Bart Cummings, a Melbourne Cup lead-up, of its most interesting runner, Exceptionally. Trainer Terry O’Sullivan went to the stewards about his mare, which was $4.80 to $2.20, and told them he had anticipated rain and because it hadn’t come he wanted to scratch her, and was allowed to do so.

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