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Paulele keeps unbeaten Randwick record intact

James Cummings pulled the right rein when he kept Paulele in Sydney to tackle the G3 Eskimo Prince Stakes over 1,200m at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 5 February.

The Godolphin Australia trainer had toyed with running Paulele first-up at Caulfield in Melbourne but decided his exciting colt deserved a chance to keep his unbeaten Randwick record intact in the $160,000 feature for three-year-olds.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy took Paulele straight to the front and he fought on strongly to beat Ranch Hand and Converge by a half-length in a slick 1min10.46 seconds.

The handsome chestnut has now won five races at Randwick with today's run being the first of his autumn campaign.

James Cummings said: “He was able to get into his stride and when challenged by a couple of good horses like Converge and Ranch Hand he was capable of lowering and sprinting hard and keeping his unbeaten record here.

“There is no doubt the horse is going very well and it’s a matter now for us to pick our target and doing our best to win a race good enough to stand him on the (Darley) roster.”

McEvoy praised the winner and predicted even better to come.

“He was able to put the race away, kick strongly and that’s exactly what he did,” the top-flight jockey said. “A quality colt who’s in for a lovely prep.”

The son of Dawn Approach took his record to six wins and two placings from 11 starts and Cummings said Paulele could still find himself in Melbourne targeting another major race.

Meanwhile, Cummings’ decision to bypass the G3 Eskimo Prince Stakes and send stablemate Zethus to Melbourne late this week almost paid handsome dividends when the Exceed And Excel colt finished a fine second behind hot favourite Generation in the G3 Print Manfred Stakes over 1,200m at Caulfield.

Zethus, having his first run back after nearly 12 months, came from last at the 500m mark under Fred Kersley to be beaten just over a length on the line. Teofilo colt Linas Legend finished a good third.

“We were close to being geniuses,” Cummings said. “He ran terrifically. He was first-up from a long time off.

“He’s been in and out of work, so we’ll let the dust settle with him, see how he pulls up, and make sure he’s handling the pressure.”