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Apprentice Damian Lane celebrated the biggest win of his career when he steered Ulundi along the rail to claim the Listed Lord Stakes at Mornington.

Usually held at Caulfield, Tuesday’s 1600m feature was run at the Pat Carey-trained Ulundi’s home track for the first time and the gelding continued his affinity with the course to record his third win from three starts at the circuit.

Sent out at $10, Ulundi responded to Lane when he steered him through horses on the turn and took him to the fence where he gained the ascension over La Rocket ($15) and Our Spirits Bay ($9) inside the final 150 metres.

The winning margin was a decisive 1-1/4 lengths with La Rocket edging Our Spirits Bay by a half-head for second with $3 favourite Turnitup fourth.

One of Western Australia’s leading junior riders, Lane made the move to the Ellerton-Zahra stable in Melbourne earlier this year.

“It’s my first stakes win ever so it’s a big thrill,” Lane said.

“He drew an ideal gate (three) and put himself in the right spot.

“At the 400 (metres) he got the break he needed and on the corner we got the split we needed so it worked out well.

“He just keeps improving and is the sort of horse who improves as he matures.”

His early immaturity frustrated Carey who thought highly enough of his ability to run him in the 2010 Victoria Derby in which he was unplaced.

“It’s really nice to win with this horse because he’s had a few cracks at some good races,” Carey said.

“We had to geld him. He suffered a fair bit of damage when he was a colt.

“It’s taken a while to get him to this point and there are plenty of opportunities for him so we’ll keep poking along with him.”

The $50,000 Ron Casey Memorial (1200m) was taken out by another local, Lady Rum Dum, who sustained a long run from back in the field in the hands of Michelle Payne.

The Jason Warren-trained four-year-old mare has had just three starts and is unbeaten with the trainer hoping she can graduate to city class in the near future.

AAP TURF

 
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