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Drawing wide no barrier for Widgee Turf

Jockey Billy Egan with Widgee Turf
Jockey Billy Egan has ridden in seven of Widgee Turf’s eight wins.

Widgee Turf has provided jockey Billy Egan with a first stakes race success, winning the Victoria Handicap at Caulfield.

The victory in the Group Three race also provided the trainer, former champion jockey Patrick Payne, with a feature two-state double.

Payne was absent from Caulfield, instead saddling up the quinella, Zed Em and No Song No Supper, in the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank in South Australia.

Widgee Turf had to overcome the widest barrier in Saturday’s 16-horse field before coming from last and storming down the outside of the track to claim victory.

Sent out a $10 chance, Widgee Turf scored a three-quarter length victory over Turnitaround ($51) with Ken’s Dream ($9.50) a head away third.

Egan said while the wide barrier caused some concern pre-race, you can’t let it worry you.

“You’ve got to go out to ride and own it,” he said.

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“You change your game plan a little when you get a draw like that, but he’s a versatile sort of horse.

“We know him pretty well and know what he’s capable of from that gate.”

Egan starts a dual suspension incurred from Ballarat on Tuesday and Sandown on Wednesday, but will be back in time to ride Widgee Turf when he returns to Caulfield next month.

The jockey rides at Stawell on Sunday and returns on April 14, a week before the VOBIS Gold Mile on April 21.

Egan wanted to make sure he was available to ride Widgee Turf, a horse he has ridden in seven of the gelding’s eight wins, in that race.

“This was a little lead-up run on the way through to Super VOBIS day,” Egan said.

“But it’s sure nice to pick up a little something on the way through.”

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