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Duca Valentinois prevails in Mumm thriller

Jockey Tim Clark rides Duca Valentinois (right) to victory
Jockey Tim Clark (right) was intent on leaving his run as late as possible on Duca Valentinois.

A decision to extend the winter carnival campaign of Duca Valentinois has been rewarded with the gelding winning the Listed G.H. Mumm Open (1820m) at Eagle Farm.

Ridden by Tim Clark, Duca Valentinois ($6.50) won by a half head from $3.90 favourite Take It Intern with Another Dollar ($11) a short half head away third.

Trainer James Cummings has been content to target second tier black type races with the imported seven-year-old in Brisbane.

“He’s shot up in the ratings and he’s another great example of an imported horse that’s come over and done exceptionally well for us,” Cummings said.

“When they get up in the ratings these horses can sometimes find it a lot harder to win and he’s a horse that’s enjoyed tackling that low hanging fruit in his career and carried weight well in the past.

“It’s good to see with our guiding hand he’s been able to target the Queensland carnival and reap the rewards.”

Jockey Tim Clark was intent on leaving his run as late as possible.

“I was mindful stepping up from the mile to 1800m that I wanted to hold him up that little bit longer and expose him as late as I could,” he said.

“He probably only just saw the 1800m out but was good enough to win.”

No one was more relieved than Larry Cassidy after Smartedge earlier won the Class 6 Plate (1400m).

“If we’d got beat he would’ve been unlucky because in the early part of the straight Sweet Deal stayed hard up outside me and I had to come back to get to the outside,” Cassidy said.

“I thought I’d got there but when they’re that far apart it’s hard to tell.”

Smartedge ($6.50) lunged in the last stride to pip Shogun Sun ($4.20) by a short head with Magnufighter ($6) a half length away third.

Cassidy is hoping the success he has enjoyed for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden will earn him more rides for the leading stable.

“My last two rides for the Snowdens have been two wins so it’s always good to get your foot in the door when they bring other horses up here,” he said.

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