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A decision to dodge the Christmas Stakes with Boomwaa has paid off with the gelding snapping a 13-month absence from the winner’s circle at Moonee Valley.

Boomwaa was entered for Friday’s Listed Christmas Stakes but trainer Robbie Laing got his wish and the three-year-old was saved for an easier race a day later.

Last year’s Maribyrnong Plate winner produced a bold front-running display in Saturday’s Essendon Terrace Handicap (1200m) to score by 2-1/2 lengths over Magnus Reign 1min09.65secs.

Boomwaa’s time was less than four tenths of a second outside Miss Andretti’s track record.

“The way he went today he might have given them a fright in the Christmas Stakes, but we wanted to get his confidence back up,” Laing said.

“He has gone over 12 months without winning a race.”

Laing will weigh up his options with Boomwaa with one consideration being to back him up in the Group Three Standish Handicap on Flemington on New Year’s Day.

“We’re also not far off the good races for three-year-olds, they are just around the corner,” Laing said.

“He ran brilliant time today.”

While Miss Andretti’s 1200-metre record remains, the former star sprinter’s 1000-metre course record fell with the speedy Sweet Emily clocking 57.19secs in winning the Drummond Golf Handicap (1000m).

The Phil Sweeney-trained mare shaved 0.03secs off Miss Andretti’s mark.

Stephen Baster, rider of runner-up Beach Front, fired in a protest against Sweet Emily, alleging interference at the 500m.

But stewards quickly dismissed the objection saying any interference from Harry Coffey getting in at that point of the race didn’t equate to the long neck margin at the finish.

Earlier on the card, boom colt Headwater made an impressive debut in the Cactus Imaging Plate (1000m) to stamp himself as one of the early favourites for the feature juvenile races.

By Exceed And Excel out of Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove, Headwater scored by 2-3/4 lengths and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the youngster had always shown a lot of ability.

Damien Thornton notched a milestone with his victory on Murphy’s Delight the apprentice’s 50th city win, reducing his metropolitan claim from 2kg to 1.5kg.

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