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Orange County overcomes wide draw


Caulfield: Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes  (Group 1) 7f

ORANGE COUNTY (Brian Mayfield-Smith/Damien Oliver) gained a well-deserved Group 1 victory when overcoming a wide draw in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, the main supporting event on the Underwood Stakes card at Caulfield.

Oliver had the grey, a 5.8-1 chance, towards the rear, but the pace was slick and Orange County was able to gobble up his rivals soon after straightening. He bolted away in the final stages to win by two and a half lengths from 2007 winner Bon Hoffa, with Turffontein a neck away third.

Victory in this A$350,000 (£158,000) event took Orange County's record to nine from 31 starts.

"We've had our problems with the horse but I never lost faith in him. I was pretty confident it was going to be his day," Mayfield-Smith told AAP Racing.

"He is very honest and it is good to see he has been vindicated with a victory like this."

Oliver, who now has 81 Group 1s to his name, was winning the racefor the seventh time.

Also on Saturday

Rosehill: Tea Rose Stakes (Group 2) 71/2f

BRILLIANT three-year-old Samantha Miss (Kris Lees/Hugh Bowman) put herself in line for a possible crack at the Cox Plate when simply toying with her age-group rivals to win her fourth successive Group race.

The odds-on favourite made her challenge in the centre of the track and it was clear a furlong out that she had the measure of her opponents. The Group 1 Flight Stakes on October 4 is her next target.

Rosehill: Gloaming Stakes (Group 3) 1m1/2f

Predatory Pricer (Paul Murray/Glyn Schofield), the half-brother to international sprinting superstar Takeover Target, continued his winning ways with a clear-cut victory.

The 12-5 chance settled at the rear of the field, but stormed home to win the $A250,000 (£113,000) feature by a neck from Stalingrad and will now contest the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (1m2f) at Randwick on October 4.

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