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Femme Fireball had only a short neck to spare to win the Orthochick Handicap

The margin might have been slender but sectional times confirm the merit of Femme Fireball’s win at Doomben.

Starting the $1.70 favourite, Femme Fireball had only a short neck to spare when she overhauled Hingus Rose ($5.50) to win the Orthochick Handicap.

Femme Fireball clocked 1 min 18.88 secs for the 1350m trip with a final 600m sectional time of 33.80 secs.

The mare was conceding Hingus Rose six lengths start at the 600m before gaining the upper hand in the final stages.

Jockey Dale Smith knew the tempo of the race was unlikely to suit Femme Fireball but praised the mare’s determination when it came to the crunch in the straight.

“They went steady and that was always our worry going into the race but I said to Rob ‘let’s ride her like she’s the best horse in the race’,” Smith said.

“She’s run home her last furlong in 11 (seconds) and change so it’s onwards and upwards with her. She’s going really well.”

Trainer Rob Heathcote is considering giving Femme Fireball a freshen-up before targeting the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares at the Gold Coast in January.

“She’s got a booming finish as we’ve seen and while it may not have looked impressive, they’ve run home in 33.8 seconds and she’s given them a start,” Heathcote said.

“I haven’t done a lot with her in the two weeks since she won first up and I think there’s still plenty of improvement to come.”

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