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Sweet Deal laps up firm fast ground to take The Hunter

“You ride her like that and she attacks on a firm track like that,” Thompson said. “We were supposed to run her last week but didn’t run because of the wet. This race was just there at the right time.

“It was an outstanding ride, Nash went around one horse. I could see she was travelling and he saved lengths going up on the inside of them.

“She will have a spell now and there is a lovely mares series during the autumn for her to have a crack at a group 1 one last time.”

It was Rawiller’s fifth win on Sweet Deal and there is a real connection between him and the mare.

“She’s a horse I’ve always had a lot of confidence in,” Rawiller said.

“She’s a bulldog. Obviously, Special Reward kicked very well and it’s a different scenario when she can get a bunny to chase.

“I think she was my first Saturday city winner back after Hong Kong, obviously after 15 months on the sidelines [following a 2018 betting ban], and she’s just kept raising the bar as we’ve gone along.”

Tommy Berry takes the Spring Stakes on The Elanora.

Tommy Berry takes the Spring Stakes on The Elanora.Credit:Getty

Sweet Deal had to work to get to Special Reward, who led and gave a good kick, but in the end he couldn’t match the mare who won by a length with Asiago closing late for third another length away.

“He gave me a really good kick and honestly there wouldn’t be too many horses that would get past him when he does that,” Special Reward’s jockey Aaron Bullock said. “Like the old saying, he was beaten by a better horse on the day.”

The favourites were disappointing with Ranier never comfortable and Trumbull failing to handle the firm Newcastle track.

“He felt the firm track and really didn’t let go on it,” Tommy Berry said of Trumbull.

Jason Collett, meanwhile, said Ranier ran his races in spurts.

“We had him a bit closer and I don’t think he liked it,” Collett said. “He was three wide with cover on the stablemate’s back but was only just there.

“It was a funny run because he picked up again at the end.”

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Earlier, The Elanora was too strong for High Supremacy in a driving finish to the Spring Stakes (1600m).

The Elanora was coming back from 1800m at his fourth start, while High Supremacy was stepping up from 1400m at his third run.

The difference between the pair proved to be a bit of seasoning after they were head and head at the 200m mark as The Elanora pulled clear to win by a half-length with Ellsberg two-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.

“It was a masterstroke from Chris [Waller] bringing this colt from 1800m back to the mile as I knew he would be fit at the end,” said jockey Tommy Berry, who also won the Highway Handicap on King’s Trust.

“I think that was the difference in the end – Nash’s horse got to me but my colt picked up and was strong to the line.”

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