Trainer Luke Oliver was forced to alter plans with Khutulun after the filly fell foul of stewards last start, but the three-year-old got her campaign back on track with a narrow victory on Saturday.
Oliver said he had been considering the Group Three South Australian Fillies Classic over 2500m in two weeks for Khutulun, but that changed when the filly was difficult to load into the barriers at her second start earlier this month.
Stewards barred her from racing until she trialled again to their satisfaction.
Khutulun did that at the Caulfield jumpouts on Tuesday and returned to the races on Saturday at Sandown, scoring a determined on-speed win in the Routleys Bakery Handicap (1600m).
“She’s taken a while to get to the races and she’s required a little bit of patience since then,” Oliver said.
“She got barred the other day with her barrier manners. (But) she did everything right today.”
Oliver is convinced the filly, which made it two wins from three starts, will stretch out in distance and is hoping she continues to improve.
“She’s got a mind of her own, but we’re slowly winning the battle,” he said.
Khutulun ($5.50) had ran on from back in the field for fourth at her most recent start, but a change in tactics was adopted on Saturday with the filly pressing forward from a wide gate.
She sat outside the lead and then hit the front in the straight before holding off the fast-finishing Tear Gas ($4) by a head with 1-1/2 lengths to Moonlight Magic ($18) third.
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