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Duke's Remarkable Achievement

Saturday was a good day for the stable, Devonshire Duke recording a gutsy victory at Rosehill whilst at Flemington Merion showed that he is right on track for a crack at the Australian Guineas with a pleasing fourth in the C.S Hayes Stakes.

In taking out the Blackwoods Handicap, Devonshire Duke recorded his seventh career victory - sealing a remarkable achievement having won in four different states.

A three times provincial level in Victoria and a city winner in Brisbane, Adelaide and now Sydney, Devonshire Duke has proven a wonderful horse for connections - amassing over $220,000 in stakes.

On Saturday beautifully ridden by James McDonald, Devonshire Duke travelled nicely mid-field along the rails, gradually improving his position until he was third coming into the straight.

Hooking out from behind the leader once straightening, Devonshire Duke joined the leader Spacecraft at the 200m and once hitting the front he was strongly challenged on both sides - digging deep and showing plenty of heart.

"He just tries his heart out," enthused the stable's Sydney representative Robbie Hewetson, adding that winning a Saturday city race in Sydney is always a tough task - "no matter what time of year it is the hardest place to win so he has just run his career best race."

"It was a great ride by James," he continued, "and that little bit of rain certainly helped him."

McDonald, who was having his first ride on the six-year-old Keeper gelding, was impressed by the horse's determination - "he travelled beautifully for me, he relaxed in behind them and gave a good kick and tried his guts out."

Raced by a big group headed by Gurners Bloodstock Co, Devonshire Duke is out of the Gr.3 winning mare Bexley , a half-sister to the Gr.1 galloper Valley Of Carome from the family of WA Derby winner Key Dancer.

Merion, beaten just over two lengths in the C.S Hayes Stakes at only his second run this time in, looks nicely primed for the Australian Guineas in two week's time.

Ready for the mile, Merion was very good over 1400m on Saturday, finishing off nicely although his run did end late - the horse still having plenty of scope for improvement fitness wise.

Jockey Steven Arnold was pleased with the run although disappointed with the way the race was run - "they went hard early but then sat up mid-race and everything ended up just holding their spots."

"He did run well though, his run just peaked late but he had a good blow and he will be improved."

[22 Feb 15]


[20 Feb 19] Two runners, Scorch (Sizzling) with blinkers on and debutante Slinky Linky (Bullbars)  more...


[20 Feb 19] One runner for us on Wednesday but a winning chance as The Delphi races at Sandown.  more...


[17 Feb 19] Real Gent is our runner on Sunday when he ventures to Moe.  more...
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