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Black type breakthrough for Raiment

Raiment provided Godolphin with an early present on Golden Slipper Day as the three-year-old filly surged to her first black type victory in the Group Three Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill.

Her fourth win in nine starts also gave Melbourne-based hoop Craig Williams back-to-back winners on Saturday after Big Duke was upgraded to first from second in the card-opening Manion Cup following a protest.

Raiment, the $5 second favourite, scored by 3-1/4 lengths ahead of Samantha ($4 favourite) while Nancy ($13) was a length further back in third.

“It was a really good team effort to get her here and it’s nice for Craig (Williams) too, because he’s been a great help for us in Melbourne,” trainer John O’Shea said.

“To come up here and make the weight at 53kgs and get a result like that is wonderful.

“We thought that she’d be well placed in this race.”

The Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) on the opening day of The Championships at Randwick on April 1 is the next target followed by the JB Carr later in the season.

Williams deflected praise to the filly after she made light work of the 1200m journey on a heavy 10 to give her a perfect two-from-two record on heavy tracks.

Raiment was also entered in the Darby Munro Stakes on the Rosehill card with Dwayne Dunn booked, so Williams was relieved O’Shea opted to run her in the $150,000 Birthday Card Stakes.

“I’m grateful they wanted her to go against the girls. She’s well treated in this race and we saw how dominant she was,” Williams said.

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