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Alfarris pressed his claims for the Andrew Ramsden Stakes with a hard-fought win at Caulfield

The Lindsay Park stable looks likely to be well represented in an upcoming Melbourne Cup qualifier after imported stayer Alfarris pressed his claims for the Andrew Ramsden Stakes with a hard-fought win at Caulfield.

The winner of the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington on May 25 earns a ballot exemption into this year’s Melbourne Cup, and Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig indicated that was the likely next option for five-year-old Alfarris after his first Australian victory on Saturday.

The stable also has Warrnambool Cup winner Furrion pressing on towards the Ramsden in a bid to qualify early for the 2019 Melbourne Cup.

Stepping up in distance in the Grunt Standing @ Yulong Handicap (2406m) in his third Australian start, last-start Easter Cup placegetter Alfarris settled third in the run under Craig Williams and edged to the front rounding the home turn.

Alfarris, the $3.80 favourite, had to withstand a challenge from Rock On ($8) in the straight but rallied to beat him by a half-head with a long neck to Felaar ($8) third.

“His run in the Easter Cup was really good so we came here quite confident and I thought he did a good job,” Dabernig said.

“They went quite steady through the middle stages, he had a bit of a shy at the top of the straight and looked to get headed but he kicked back again on the line.

“So it was a good effort.

“We decided to keep him to this race today to see whether we go to an Andrew Ramsden or not.

“But definitely on today you would, being a qualifier for the Cup.”

Dabernig said Furrion had come through his Warrnambool Cup win really well and after a discussion with owner Gerry Ryan, he was on track to run in the Ramsden.

“It’s very hard to qualify them through the spring, the races only get tougher and often you’ve got to wait until they get to their right distance,” he said.

“So while they’re up and at their right trip and sound and well, I think we keep going.”

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