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The task for trainer Mick Price is about to get tougher after the first-up win of Berlutti at Sandown.

The Caulfield-trained sprinter returned with a strong win in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap on Wednesday, but now Price has to find suitable races.

Price said a liking for wet ground, Sandown and a good first-up record had contributed to Berlutti’s success.

Ridden by apprentice Michael Dee, Berlutti ($5.50) scored by three-quarters-of-a-length from It’s A Shame Billy ($7) with Atunnah Courage ($61) the same margin away third.

“We timed our run so he can have a bit of a winter prep,” Price said.

“With his rating he’s going to be a little tricky to place now but it’s a nice problem to have as they get up in grade.

“He gets 1200 metres and he’s a bit more mature now than he was six months ago, so there should be a few options.”

Price said Dee rode Berlutti perfectly putting him in the right spot in the short-course sprint over 1000m.

He said he kept the gelding on the bridle and had him placed to allow Berlutti to show his sprint.

Berlutti’s victory brought up a winning double for Dee after steering Deal With It home in the Grand Hotel Frankston Plate.

Dee said Berlutti travelled beautifully into the straight and gave him a good kick.

“The last 50 metres he died a little bit so there’ll be improvement to come from him after that,” Dee said.

Dee’s double places him in second spot on the Melbourne apprentices’ title race, six behind Dylan Dunn with 12 meetings for the season remaining.

Dunn’s father Dwayne increased his lead to three over Craig Williams in the jockeys’ premiership race after winning aboard Hear The Chant in the Cove Hotel Handicap.

Craig Robertson, who on Tuesday had charges against him dropped over his ride on Bolshoi Bandit at Echuca in April, escaped with a reprimand after Racing Victoria stewards inquired into interference to Dylan Dunn in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap.

 
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