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Pepperano home for Birchley in greys race

It’s been third time lucky for Liam Birchley in the greys’ only race at Flemington on Oaks day.

The narrow victory of Pepperano in the Off The Track Subzero Handicap on Thursday has made up for previous defeats of Birchley-trained runners in the race for grey gallopers.

Ridden by Craig Williams, Pepperano ($9.50) scored a short half-head win over Onerous ($7) with Gladstone ($101) 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Birchley trained Stars In Bars to finish second in 2002 with Time To Plunder beaten in last year’s edition.

“It’s been a bit of a bogey race for me,” Birchley said.

“It’s really satisfying to come down here and win a race over the carnival.”

Pepperano finished second in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in 2015 and Birchley said the mare would return to Queensland for the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast in January.

“There’s the fillies and mares race or the cup race, so we’ll wade through that and work out what suits best,” Birchley said.

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