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Well-backed He Or She wins first-up

A defence of the Group Two Blamey Stakes is next on the agenda for He Or She after the gelding made a winning return to racing at Flemington.

He Or She was heavily-backed from $4.80 into $3.90 favourite in Saturday’s Group Three TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) and the well-performed gelding didn’t let his supporters down with victory in a head-bobbing finish over Hooked.

It was the second win on the program for the David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable after two-year-old Ploverset scored a debut win earlier in the day.

Six-year-old He Or She was first-up since finishing last in the Group One Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) in Perth in early December which signalled the end of a spring preparation that included three Group One placings.

Multiple stakes winner Hooked enjoyed a nice run one out and one back in his first start for trainer Robert Smerdon and looked to travel sweetly early in the home straight before jockey Dwayne Dunn called on him for his effort at the 200m.

He Or She was hard at work on the outside but kept responding over the final 200m to get home by a nose over Hooked with another three quarters of a length to Zebrinz.

“It was a good win,” co-trainer David Hayes said.

“I thought the horse on his inside had him covered at the 400-metre mark. He hit a flat spot which he does but it’s never over with this horse.

“He keeps coming and he stuck his head out and did a great job.

“He’ll be set for the Blamey which is the race he won last year and that might springboard him into a race in Sydney.”

The Group Two Blamey (1600m) is at Flemington in two weeks while the Group One Doncaster Mile next month in Sydney is also on the radar.

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