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After a luckless and frustrating spring, talented three-year-old Ducasse has taken the first step towards a confidence rebuild with a classy midweek win at Warwick Farm.

While competitive in a string of black-type races last year, the Michael Freedman – trained colt remained a maiden and jockey Tommy Berry was thrilled to see him finally shed that tag in Wednesday’s Farnan Yearlings Selling Now Plate (1200m).

“It is all about giving him a bit of confidence this preparation,” Berry said.

“He kept drawing bad barriers and not having things run to suit last prep, and falling short a few times.

“This time in, Michael (Freedman) just thought we’d take him back in grade, get his confidence up and let him go through his grades and today was perfect.”

With favourite Redbreast setting a solid tempo, Ducasse ($2.50) drifted back to last before Berry picked his way clear in the straight, got to the outside and set the three-year-old alight.

Ducasse ($2.50) stormed home to score by 2-1/2 lengths over Detendu ($4.80) with Redbreast ($2.45 fav) holding third, another long neck away.

Berry is confident the winner can go on with the job and work his way back into better grade races.

“There didn’t look that much speed on paper, but there was, and he reaped the rewards of it late,” Berry said.

“He’s got a big prep to come. He’s always a bit gross and Michael was wary of that today, but they’ve got to start off somewhere and he’s done a good job.”

Ducasse provided Berry with an early double after the jockey took out the opening event aboard Peter and Paul Snowden-trained two-year-old Waterville .

Paul Snowden wasn’t surprised to see the filly triumph on debut but felt she would improve with time as she was still filling out her hefty frame.

“She is a big, imposing lump of a girl,” Paul Snowden said.

“She will improve a lot on the physical side of things, she’s pretty much there everywhere else.

“She has always been a filly that has worked sharply and worked well with horses who have already raced and gone on to do things, so no surprise to see her do that today.”

Waterville ($10) nudged out stablemate Evenflow ($7.50) with Okami Star ($14) best of the rest, another 3-1/2 lengths away third.

Champion jockey James Mcdonald was a notable absentee from Warwick Farm after being stood down from his rides due to a foot injury sustained at Rosehill on Saturday.

Racing NSW stewards confirmed McDonald would also miss the Canterbury and Randwick programs this weekend and would need to undergo further medical assessment before a determination was made on when he could return to the saddle.

 
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