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Blinkers do the trick with He Ekscels

A Brisbane trip is on the cards for He Ekscels after his impressive maiden success at Caulfield.

Sporting blinkers for the first time, He Ekscels raced to a commanding victory in Saturday’s Ern Jensen Funerals Handicap over 1800m.

Ridden by Dwayne Dunn, He Ekscels ($9) scored by 3-1/4 lengths from Red Right Hand ($14) with Soju Warrior ($5.50) three-quarters of a length away third.

Trainer Richard Laming said He Ekscels was likely to head north, but whether he raced in Brisbane during the winter carnival depended on how he came through Saturday’s race.

“He’ll probably go there to spell and whether we run him or not we’ll see,” Laming said.

“There’s plenty of three-year-old races up there and the horse is going to get a distance.”

Laming had resisted applying blinkers to He Ekscels but after he galloped in the headgear on Tuesday, the trainer was quick to make the change.

“I didn’t like the tempo coming out of the race as I thought it would be a sprint home which wouldn’t suit, but the blinkers kicked in and did their job,” he said.

He Ekscels was having his fifth career start on Saturday, having run four placings, and Laming admitted he should have put the blinkers on before the gelding’s last-start third in maiden grade at Sale as the $2.40 favourite.

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