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William Thomas salutes for the Sandgropers

Two former West Australians have combined to win with promising young galloper William Thomas at Caulfield.

Champion jockey Damien Oliver and trainer John Price took out Saturday’s Changing Places Real Estate Handicap with the favourite Williams Thomas ($3).

Oliver moved to Victoria as an apprentice in the late 1980s while Price set up a training base at Cranbourne around five years ago.

“I can remember Damien riding for me when he was apprentice,” Price said.

“I said to him today it’s been a long time since he’s worn those colours.”

Following a last start second at Caulfield on April 14 in which William Thomas raced erratically, Price elected to remove the lugging bit in preference for a norton bit.

“I’m not a big believer in norton bits as they are quite severe but he’s had it on all week and accepted it quite well and we got a great result today,” Price said.

Price said he will monitor the horses condition in the next week before deciding if he races again this preparation.

But the gelding will be missing from next week’s Euclase Stakes at Morphettville.

“He’s not far off a break,” Price said.

“We’ll find one more for him and then give him a break and look for something in the spring.”

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