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By the stable’s own admission, Kulgrinda is a sprinter who needs all the help she can get at the level she has reached in Melbourne racing.

In Saturday’s City Jeep Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley she got plenty – and duly got the money.

Kulgrinda winning the City Jeep Handicap at Moonee Valley - photo by Race Horse Photos Australia (Steven Dowden)

Kulgrinda went to the start a warm second favourite behind the former Sydney sprinter Winter King.

But as the field was being loaded the gates opened prematurely and Winter King took off, completed the course and headed straight for the wash bay.

The $10 chance Waltzes also completed the 1000m riderless and like the favourite was scratched, leaving Kulgrinda with two fewer opponents and an opportunity she made the most of.

“She’s only little and she struggles a little bit when she gets to these sort of weights,” said Jeff O’Connor, spokesman for the Peter Moody stable.

“If the others give her an inch she’ll take it.”

Kulgrinda has displayed great promise throughout her career, her trainer once declaring her a Group One prospect.

But O’Connor imposed a dose of reality on that suggestion.

“Peter might have got a bit excited there,” he said.

“She’s got a lot of ability but she’s had to go around with a lot of good sprinters who might have made her look a bit second-rate.”

Given a comfortable ride under 58kg by Luke Nolen, Kulgrinda ($2.50) scored by a length from Alpha Proxima with Galbraith a neck further away in third place.

A stewards’ inquiry into the barrier mayhem revealed that a barrier attendant had inadvertently pressed the starting button.

 
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