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The United States claims G2 Crystal Mile

Group One winner The United States has shown his class with a feature win on Cox Plate day, even if it wasn’t in the race his connections had originally hoped.

The United States rounded up his rivals and raced to a one-length win in the Group Two Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Saturday on the undercard to the $3 million Cox Plate (2040m).

A setback forced connections to shelve Cox Plate plans and The United States instead went into the 1600m race off a seven-week let-up.

The plan is now for the seven-year-old to target the $2 million Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington in two weeks.

And managing owner Nick Williams, who races the horse with a high-profile syndicate which includes his father Lloyd and members of the Ingham family, said they would consider taking him to Hong Kong later this year.

“I think he’s our best horse, for sure,” Williams said.

“The team re-assessed and we’ve got him here on the day that we wanted to get him here for, albeit we couldn’t get him ready for the main race.

“But he’s done a wonderful job, Kerrin (McEvoy) rode him beautifully and really that win wasn’t much more than a track gallop.”

It’s the second year in a row The United States has won on the Cox Plate program after beating subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance in track record time in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) a year ago.

The United States ($3.60) defeated Lidari ($26) with a neck to Ulmann ($8.50) third.

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