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Unorthodox preparation key for The Avenger

The Avenger with jockey Michael Cahill after winning at Eagle Farm.
Eagle Farm winner The Avenger has thrived on regular road trips between Sydney and Brisbane.

Champion trainer Chris Waller has devised a novel method of regular travel to help The Avenger hit the best form of his career.

The Avenger ($5.50) outplugged the favourite So Spirited ($2.60) by a short head to win the Ariat Country Music Rodeo Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

It was the gelding’s second victory in three starts after his win at Rosehill earlier in the month.

Waller’s Queensland manager Paul Shailer said The Avenger was a gross horse and it was a constant battle to keep weight off him.

“But he is one horse who does take benefit from the road trip and it is part of the plan to keep him fit,” Shailer said.

“The trip up or down the highway on a Wednesday is like an extra track gallop. We don’t like to work him on the training track so it is working out well.”

Shailer said Waller would now probably look for another race in Sydney for The Avenger.

Winning jockey Michael Cahill said The Avenger was going to win by a length but “then had a think”.

Waller won earlier on the day with Makdanife and enigmatic mare Veranes.

Veranes ($11) is raced by leading Brisbane-based owners David Devine and Neville Morgan who paid $320,000 for her as a yearling.

“She has ability but has had some issues with her head,” Shailer said.

Promising gelding Looks Like Elvis ($1.60) booked a trip to the Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 20 with his easy win in the Class 6 Plate (1800m).

Trainer Brian Dais has taken it slowly with Looks Like Elvis who has now won three of his four starts.

Apprentice Nick Keal continued his good form with an easy ride on Looks Like Elvis who won by three lengths.

“I wish all wins were as easy as that,” Keal said.

Jockey Jake Bayliss produced an inspired ride to win on Go Deep ($14) who got up along the rails to win.

Bayliss snagged Go Deep back to last from a wide barrier but didn’t go around a horse in the straight.

“I had no choice but to go back but he got a clear run in the straight,” Bayliss said.

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