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Auvray will target the resurrected $500,000 ATC St Leger

Auvray will target the resurrected $500,000 St Leger on Everest Day after winning the Colin Stephen Quality.

The Irish import survived a protest from second-placed Admiral Jello to follow up his win in the Randwick Mayor’s Cup last month with a tight victory.

The seven-year-old gelding pipped Admiral Jello ($4) by a short-head in a grandstand finish to the Group Three staying test over 2400m.

Pacemaker Broadside, the $2.70 favourite, finished a half-neck back in third.

Corey Brown argued Admiral Jello had been impeded when the Glyn Schofield-ridden Auvray ($3.20) shifted in at the 200m, costing the Kris Lees-trained gelding victory.

“It was enough to stop the momentum of my horse at a vital stage, I’ve no doubt I would have got over the top of them,” Brown said.

However, stewards described the contact as minimal and ruled it did not have a bearing on the result.

Will Freedman, standing in for father Richard Freedman due to the trainer’s television commitments at Caulfield, said Auvray’s superior stamina was pivotal after he backed up from a runner-up placing in the Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m).

“I think he might have been a touch fitter than the other two. Our team has done a fantastic job, he’s an old stayer and they take a lot of management,” Freedman said.

He said the St Leger, a 2600m staying test was now the likely goal at Randwick on October 14.

“That was a pretty tough run so I think that’s the likely result.”

The Australian Turf Club revived the race for the undercard of the inaugural $10 million Everest.

The St Leger, which was first run in 1841, was previously held in the autumn and the last edition was won by Sky Heights in 2001.

 
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