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Marianne has had to survive a protest to claim a breakthrough stakes win at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

The Mick Kent-trained three year-old finished a short-half head in front of Suavito in the Listed Alexandra Stakes (1600m) but Suavito’s jockey Damien Oliver fired in an objection alleging interference in the final 100m.

Oliver said Craig Williams continued to shift out on Marianne after initial contact from another rival Girl In Flight on her inside and said the pressure and contact from Marianne had cost him at least the margin he was beaten by.

Marianne - Photo by Sarah Ebbett

Marianne - Photo by Sarah Ebbett

Stewards ruled third-placed Girl In Flight bumped Marianne at the 50m mark and after that were satisfied Marianne and Suavito went straight to the line so they dismissed the protest.

Kent will monitor the weather in Sydney in the lead-up to the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in two weeks before deciding whether she runs there or heads to feature races in Adelaide.

Marianne ($5) had finished second at her past four starts at Group level.

“She’s a good filly and will get over further,” Kent said.

“I’d love to get her on a wet track. If it happened to be wet she’d be a real show in it.”

Girl In Flight finished three-quarters of a length away third while favourite Solicit ($1.95) came in fourth after settling in behind the lead which probably didn’t suit her.

Solicit went for an inside run early in the straight and had her momentum halted slightly at a crucial stage before finishing more than two lengths from the winner.

 
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