Despite a tough run, Violate came away with the money in the Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap.
Trainer Brent Stanley believes Violate deserves a call-up to the All-Star Mile after the gelding’s first-up win in the Group Three Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap at Flemington.
The final three of four wild cards in the $5 million 1600m Flemington race on March 16 will be announced on Monday.
“My main goal was to come and win this race today and try to get him into the All-Star Mile,” Stanley said.
“He deserves to be in the race. He beat serious horses today and he had the toughest run by a mile.
“It just goes to show he’s a serious animal when he is right.
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“It’s his second preparation since being gelded and you’ll see a very consistent race horse now.”
Violate ($9) sat three-wide in Saturday’s 1400m race before fighting off Streets Of Avalon ($4.80) to win by a long neck with another three-quarters of a length to Zebulon ($16) third.
Dual Group One winner Grunt, who already has a spot in the All-Star Mile, finished sixth in his return to racing under top weight of 61.5kg.
Grunt has drifted from $9 to $15 for the All-Star Mile.
Five-year-old Violate, who was runner-up in the corresponding race last year, has now won four of 31 starts including a first-up victory last spring in a Listed race over the same course and distance.