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Cabeza De Vaca posts fifth successive win

Cabeza De Vaca has won the November Handicap.
Cabeza De Vaca ridden by Rachel King wins the November Handicap at Rosehill.

The Villiers Stakes now shapes as the preferred option for Cabeza De Vaca after the lighty-raced gelding racked up his fifth successive win at Rosehill.

Co-trainer Adrian Bott admitted the Group Two mile at Randwick on December 16 was the logical goal for the six-year-old.

Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, credited their apprentice Rachel King after Cabeza De Vaca produced a comfortable front-running victory by three-quarters of a length in the November Handicap (1400m).

Firsthand ($3.30) was second and Federal ($4.80) was 1-1/2 lengths back in third.

“We thought second-up over 1400 he may not show the same dash he did first-up so we just asked Rachel (King) to get into a nice rhythm and she executed it perfectly,” Bott said.

He said while stepping up to 2000-metres this preparation was an option the Villiers held obvious appeal.

“It’s probably the ultimate aim, a nice, strong mile race at home would be ideal,” Bott said.

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Cabeza De Vaca opened this campaign by wining the Filante Handicap (1400m) last month, a performance that set the tone for Saturday’s triumph.

“He probably surprised us with the sharpness he showed first-up but obviously he’s been a very talented horse all the way through,” Bott said.

“He’s a six-year-old only having his 14th start, so we’ve given him plenty of time and he is improving every race.”

King, who also saluted on the Waterhouse and Bott-trained Sedanzer in the Chandon S Handicap (1400m), downplayed her role on Cabeza De Vaca.

“He helps me out a lot this horse, he’s beautiful to ride,” the in-form apprentice said.

“He just gets to the front easy, he’s got a really nice cruising gear and he can click in really well from that.”

Federal, ridden by Tye Angland, survived a protest to finish third after Blake Shinn unsuccessfully argued fifth-placed Red Excitement was denied the minor placing after being impeded at the 350.

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