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Aeecee Tong De on target for Caulfield

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Aeecee Tong De will attempt to avenge her Moonee Valley defeat when she runs at Caulfield.

After being denied by a narrow margin in her first Melbourne start, three-year-old filly Aeecee Tong De is favoured to go one better when she lines up at Caulfield.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Aeecee Tong De broke her maiden at Canterbury in Sydney on her return from a spell last month and went to Melbourne for the VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) on December 23 at Moonee Valley.

The filly was always prominent and hit the front rounding the home turn only for the talented Bel Sonic to come from last to overhaul her in the final strides.

Aeecee Tong De drops back to fillies grade and 1100m in Sunday’s Sam Segman Handicap and is the $3.80 favourite in early markets.

“I thought her run was very courageous last start,” Bott said.

“We drew wide and she had to do plenty of work to get across and find a position outside the leader, so for her to do it at both ends and still be strong late was quite an impressive performance.

“She was vulnerable there and unfortunately just got nabbed on the line but it looked like a pretty progressive type that was able to beat her.”

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Bott said Aeecee Tong De had come through that race in good order and had been freshened up for the slight drop in distance.

“I don’t think that will be a concern for her at all,” Bott said.

He believes the Moonee Valley run confirmed the filly had improved and come back stronger and more mature this campaign.

“I think all she’s got to do is hold that form going into that race to be right in the mix,” he said.

Beau Mertens, who Bott says has been doing plenty of work for the stable, retains the ride on Aeecee Tong De who has 59kg.

“We’re always happy to support the guys who are doing the hard yards for us,” he said.

Waterhouse and Bott are third in this season’s Melbourne trainers’ premiership with 16 wins from just 64 starters.

The stable had a successful spring carnival highlighted by Pinot’s Group One VRC Oaks victory at Flemington.

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