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Home Of The Brave produces his best in G3 Aurie’s Star success at Flemington

Mike Hedge

The reward for perseverance and consistency arrived for Home Of The Brave when he brought up his second Australian win in Saturday’s G3 Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington.

A gelding who showed enough as a three-year-old in England to run in the 2,000 Guineas and who twice tackled Breeders’ Cup races in The United States, Home Of The Brave overcame difficulties to score by three-quarters of a length from Great Again. Game Keeper, a winner at his past four starts, finished third, a further long neck away.

The victory came two-years after Home Of The Brave ran second in the same race on his Australian debut and was his eighth overall.

It also proved a worthy tribute to trainer James Cummings and his teams in both Sydney and Melbourne who had the nine-year-old in prime condition for his latest assignment.

“James picked this race out for him and it was a great effort by the team in Sydney to have him primed for this,” said stable representative Sean Keogh.

“They sent him down to us in great condition and we’ve got the result.”

After suffering slight interference at the start, jockey Damien Oliver had Home Of The Brave galloping kindly in clear ground for most of the race before calling on him inside the final 400m.  

“I got sandwiched at the start when the horse on our outside jumped in on top of him, but it went perfectly after that,” Oliver said.

“He was well-placed today, he dropped in the weights, he’s got such good form on straight tracks and the soft track suited him as well.”

G1 winner Flit began her four-year-old season with a most encouraging second placing in the G2 Missile Stakes at Rosehill, while Godolphin celebrated four winners around Australia on Saturday.

Flit raced gamely and well to finish a length and a half behind Eduardo, her performance suggesting she can add to an already impressive record in the coming spring.

Of the other winners, the most impressive of those was the Shooting To Win filly Tailleur, who made it three wins from four starts with a four-length success in the ungraded Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap at Rosehill.

At Moe in Victoria, a G1 VRC Derby prospect emerged with the win of Choir in maiden company while Fatigues scored a strong win in the ungraded Lexus Handicap at Flemington.