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Higher Ground wins close Packer Plate

Higher Ground (right) ridden by Glyn Schofield
Higher Ground (right) has edged out Chris Waller-trained stablemate Tangled to win at Randwick.

It has taken the camera to separate stablemates Higher Ground and Tangled in the Group Three Frank Packer Plate but the two will now head in different directions.

Higher Ground ($5.50) got the judge’s decision by a nose over Tangled ($6) with trainer Chris Waller to send the winner to the Queensland Derby and the runner-up to the South Australian Group One equivalent.

Higher Ground, who is raced by Debbie Kepitis, one of the three owners of Winx, won a 1600m-race for three-year-olds at Warwick Farm 10 days ago while Tangled ran third in the Australian Derby (2400m) on April 7 leading into Saturday’s 2000m-race.

Favourite Holy Snow ($3.90) finished a half length behind the two for third.

“The beauty of Australian racing is there are races for these horses all year round,” Waller said.

“If they aren’t there in the spring, then there are carnivals here in Sydney then Adelaide and Queensland.”

Glyn Schofield, who rode the winner, was as unsure as anyone else whether he had got the nod.

“I’m glad the photo doesn’t lie,” he said.

“I wasn’t sure if I had won but he’s taken a big step today this fellow.

“Obviously Chris (Waller) has had some plans with him for some time. It was nice for him to show a bit of fight and get there.

“I thought when he changed his legs 100 metres from home he was just going to surge to the lead and run away from them, but the second horse obviously has Group One form and it’s hard to get away from those horses who have performed well at the top level.”

Higher Ground is by dual Cox Plate winner So You Think who also won multiple Group One races in Europe.

“I like the So You Thinks,” Waller said.

“They suit my style of training. He was a deadset superstar and to get some of his progeny is pretty special.

“A big key in horses longevity is not pushing them and as you can see they start developing late in life.”

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