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Image: Quentin Lang
Faatinah struck first-up at The Valley coming off an international campaign in Dubai

For the second year in a row, proven fresh performer Faatinah has struck first-up at The Valley coming off an international campaign in Dubai.

After a three-run preparation in Dubai early in 2018 the gelding returned home to Australia and started his spring preparation in late August last year with a win in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at The Valley.

This time the seven-year-old gelding made his spring return in Saturday’s Group Two McEwen Stakes (1000m) and once again showed his quality racing fresh, winning in his first start since his four-run campaign in Dubai between January to March this year.

Ridden by Jamie Kah, Faatinah ($8) sat outside leader Eduardo ($3.70) and then staved off his challengers in the straight to beat Bons Away ($4.40) by a short neck.

Eduardo was the same margin away third.

“He has just been flying at home,” Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes said.

“He has done it two years in a row. He came back from Dubai and won first-up last year and now he has done it again today.

“He’s a great fresh horse.”

Faatinah brought up a winning double at The Valley for the Lindsay Park stable after Power Scheme won the opening race.

Senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes left the racing duties at The Valley to his son Ben and his nephew Tom Dabernig, because he was in Sydney to watch another of his sons, Will, playing for the Western Bulldogs in an AFL elimination final against the GWS Giants.

Ben Hayes said another crack at the Group One Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley later this month is in the plans for Faatinah, who has finished sixth in the weight-for-age sprint the past two years.

“He’s absolutely flying this preparation and off that we’ll definitely be heading to the Moir now and he would be a genuine chance,” Hayes said.

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