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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
New Zealand mare Probabeel has had to dig deep to register a first-up Caulfield victory

As she did in the autumn, star New Zealand mare Probabeel has made a winning return on Australian shores at Caulfield.

Probabeel won the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes when first-up at Caulfield in the autumn and was back in action on Saturday to claim the Group 3 W W Cockram Stakes (1200m).

The Jamie Richards-trained daughter of Savabeel may not have been as dominant in her victory on Saturday as in her autumn success, but there was plenty of merit in the win.

Sent off the $1.95 favourite under Damian Lane, Probabeel registered a short-neck win from Chassis ($41) with Instant Celebrity ($4.40) a neck away third.

Probabeel is stabled with Anthony and Sam Freedman at Flemington and their racing manager Brad Taylor said there was still improvement to come from the mare.

“I thought, having a good look at her in the yard today, she looked very good,” Taylor said.

“She is very similar to what she was first-up last time and Jamie said she was in similar fettle.

“The coat is not as good coming out of the New Zealand winter, but she presented well and there’s nice improvement there with bigger things to come.”

Taylor indicated the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 18 was the next outing for Probabeel.

“He’s hopeful that Behemoth can win just to keep her weight down a little bit, but obviously she’ll get a couple of points from today,” Taylor said.

“I think he’s been speaking to the handicapper and said she would’ve (had) 57 (kg) before that.

“She would be well-rated in a race like that and being 116 (rated), she’ll probably go to 118 and maybe get an extra kilo.”

Lane said Probabeel was more dominant first-up in the autumn but he put that down to be ridden a little further back on Saturday.

“She probably just peaked on her run late so she will be better for the run, but she’s come back in terrific order,” Lane said.

 
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