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Mick Price and Mick Kent Jr team hold high hopes for Merited after the filly remained unbeaten at Sandown

The Mick Price and Mick Kent Jr team hold high hopes for Merited after the filly remained unbeaten with an all-the-win at Sandown.

Success at Wednesday’s twilight meeting was in contrast with her debut win when Merited enjoyed a sit behind a hot speed on November 20.

Jumping smartly in the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap apprentice Thomas Stockdale had no hesitation in taking the filly to the front and dictating the tempo.

Sent off the $4.20 favourite, Merited responded to Stockdale’s urgings when tackled to win by a long head.

“She’s a natural talent and very versatile,” Kent Jr said.

“It was well summed up by young Thomas, who I think is a very promising young jockey, after she flew the gates and there was no point in dragging her back.

“She got a comfortable lead, he rated her well and she gave a good kick.”

Kent Jr said Merited had the potential to race in “black type” company over a longer journey but added now might be a good opportunity to give the filly a break.

But he said she would not be able to be out for too long with the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide autumn carnivals approaching.

“She’s got scope to get a further trip,” Kent Jr said.

“She’s by Fastnet Rock who can get a 10-furlong horse and mum (Jeu de Cartes) won a Group Two over 2000 metres in New Zealand, and the second dam is the mum of Nom De Jeu, a Derby winner.

“So she’s got a lovely pedigree to get a bit further but she’s still got that natural speed.

“She’s a lovely filly to work with and most horses that win their first two starts are above average.”

Former Sydney galloper Taygeta landed his third win from four career starts winning the Le Pine Funerals Handicap.

Trainer Archie Alexander conceded he was unsure how far Taygeta may progress after the gelding suffered a fractured wither as a younger horse and then a hock injury.

“It’s always hard to know being a midweek off-season race is he a Group horse or not but he has got a big engine,” Alexander said.

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