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First starter Bulbula didn’t have a lot going for her coming into the Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

Her coat was still showing signs of winter, she wasn’t particularly speedy and she still had a bit to learn about racing.

Bulbula winning the Ladies In Racing Magazine Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown - photo by Race Horse Photos Australia (Steven Dowden)

But the daughter of Shamardal jumped straight to the front and defied all attempts to run her down.

“That’s quite pleasing,” said trainer David Hayes.

“She hasn’t shown us that sort of speed at home.

“And I thought she still had a way to go before her coat came through. She doesn’t look quite right.”

Apart from that, Hayes regarded her victory as one of the more important wins he’s had this spring.

Bulbula is one of around 70 two-year-olds the former champion trainer has in his Euroa stable – and she’s far from being the best.

“There’s quite a few who are on a par with her or better, so that’s a good thing,” he said.

“I’ll probably freshen her up now and a few of the others will come to the races.”

Bulbula ($13) maintained a keen pace throughout to beat the favourite Purrific ($2.15) by a length with another three-quarters of a length to Sidestep ($4.60) in third place.

The win also continued the outstanding spring form of jockey Michael Walker whose run of success will nevertheless come to an end next week.

Walker will have surgery on a hip on Thursday which could keep him out of the saddle for three months.

 
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