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English has put her spring campaign behind her to defend the Challenge Stakes

English has put an indifferent spring campaign behind her to defend the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Randwick ahead of bigger autumn targets.

Despite her winless form last time in, punters kept faith with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained mare who started the $4.20 favourite with in Saturday’s 1000m-sprint in heavy conditions.

The four-year-old collared Redzel ($6) to win by a short head with Supido heading the rest, another 1-1/2 lengths away.

“It was a good, tough effort,” Waterhouse said.

“We were a little concerned going into it as the ground was something of an unknown.

“She was out on her feet there at the 1000 metres but to her credit she really fought and fought hard.

“She’s a different mare this preparation and it’s great to see her do that today.

“We can’t really pinpoint anything from the spring but her whole demeanour this preparation shows she is back in great shape.”

Waterhouse said English’s next target was likely to be the Group One Galaxy (1100m) in two weeks.

English is owned by the Kelly’s Newhaven Park with some of the family involved in racing Frolic, winner of the Group Two Reisling Stakes earlier in the day.

“It’s great to ride a winner for the Kelly family,” English’s jockey Blake Shinn said.

“They really manage their horses so well. They are great breeders and it’s been a big day for them.

“I’m really delighted to win on this horse. I’ve had a good association with her.”

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