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Sadaqa gives Caserta maiden Flemington win

Sadaqa is quickly becoming the pin-up horse for apprentice Chris Caserta.

The Mick Cerchi-trained gelding gave the apprentice his first metropolitan winner at Caulfield on April 15 and 10 days later the seven-year-old has given Caserta his first Flemington winner.

Just as he did at Caulfield, Sadaqa led throughout in Tuesday’s 1800m Long Tan Handicap.

Caserta was instructed to let Sadaqa ($7.50) stride in front with his light weight and the pair ran out a 1-3/4 length winner over Amelie’s Star ($6) with Real Love ($4.40) the same margin away third.

The 22-year-old Caserta returned to race riding just over 12 months ago after spending 18 months sidelined with a broken leg which happened in a fall at the Cranbourne barrier trials in October 2014.

Caserta, who was apprenticed to Jason Petch at Mornington before his retirement from training, is now indentured to John Sadler at Caulfield and Tuesday’s ride at Flemington was only his second at headquarters.

“It’s a great moment for me today,” Caserta said.

“This is my horse and hopefully there’s more to come.

“Mick Cerchi was my first boss in racing and basically taught me how to muck out a box and here we are here today winners at Flemington.”

Caserta was due to complete his apprenticeship at the end of the year but hopes to gain an extension because of the 18 months he lost on the sidelines.

Cerchi now intends to freshen Sadaqa and head to Adelaide for the Group Three Robert A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 20.

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