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Robert Smerdon is hoping the victory of Politeness at Caulfield will be the tonic owner Phil Sly needs in a battle against cancer.

Politeness was having her first run after a winter campaign in Adelaide and Brisbane when she stormed home in the Group Three How Now Stakes on Saturday.

Sly has had health issues since he teamed up with Smerdon to win the 2011 VRC Oaks with Mosheen.

“Phil’s had plenty of battles and and he’s got a big one on his hands at the moment,” Smerdon said.

“He had a procedure last week and they weren’t even sure he was going to come out the other side.

“I speak with him most days and hopefully that win gives him a little bit of a kick along.

“He’s in the wars and has been most of the time I’ve known him.”

Ridden by Mark Zahra, Politeness ($8) charged home from the back of the field to score a long-head win from Griante ($12) with Jessy Belle ($13) a half length away third.

Politeness will now head to the Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 17 and then on to the Group One Myer Classic at Flemington.

Smerdon said his confidence in Politeness soared as the mare pig-rooted on her way to the barriers.

“I stood there and looked at her when she was going out and thought her coat’s great and her condition’s great,” Smerdon said.

“Then she started doing her pig-rooting routine she goes through and I was happy then as she hadn’t done it until Mark got on her.

“You start to worry if she hasn’t done it.”

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