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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
A rise to stakes level could not stop Lighthouse from maintaining her perfect Australian record

Lighthouse has maintained her unbeaten record in Australia with victory in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington.

The US-bred mare by Mizzen Mast, had to overcome a difficult passage near the 300m to claim victory in the 1400m contest at her fourth in Australia.

Lighthouse commenced her Australian career for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace winning on a heavy track at Kyneton in November and followed with wins at Ballarat before her latest over Saturday’s course and distance.

Ridden for the first time by Jye Mcneil and sent out the $2.45 favourite, Lighthouse defeated Looks Like Elvis ($8.50) by 1-¼ lengths with Not To Be Mist ($14) a short-neck away third.

Lighthouse was given a cool ride by McNeil and he did not panic when asking the mare to take a narrow gap at the 300m mark.

“We said to him pre-race to back her turn of foot,” Eustace said.

“You don’t need to be in a rush because she’ll get herself out of trouble. Obviously, it was her toughest test, but I thought it was her most impressive win as well.”

Eustace said the stable would now sit down and map out an autumn program for the mare.

He said races like the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes or the Futurity Stakes, both over 1400m at Caulfield next month, could be suitable options.

“There are races like the Orr which you’d have to think about, but we’ll have to give her a little bit of time,” Eustace said.

“She won’t go out, she might have a week or so or go to the water walker.”

McNeil said he loved the determination Lighthouse showed to overcome adversity.

“I really loved the way she was gutsy in taking a small gap,” McNeil said.

“She was taking on some handy horses there and she was really brilliant the way she quickened down and put the race away, so the future is really bright.”

 
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