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A midweek win at Sandown boosted Derby hopes for connections of Honey Steel’s Gold and gave apprentice Kayla Nisbet a welcome return to city racing on Wednesday.

The David Hayes-trained Honey Steel’s Gold, a Listed winner last season, raced to a short half-head second-up victory in the Mistable Handicap (1800m) in Nisbet’s first metropolitan ride since returning from a broken wrist.

Nisbet spent a month on the sidelines after breaking her foot in November and then after only three meetings back she broke her wrist in a trackwork fall which kept her out until last week.

“It’s good to be back. Hopefully I’m coming back at the right time of year now to use my claim,” Nisbet said.

Hayes’ stable representative Tom Dabernig said the Group One South Australian Derby on May 3 was a likely target for Honey Steel’s Gold who finished eighth in the Victoria Derby.

“He had a reasonably tough preparation (in the spring) but he looks to have come back and he will stay,” Dabernig said.

Hayes had earlier produced two-year-old Tawteen who proved a class above in the Equiano – King Of Speed Handicap (900m) at her second start.

Tawteen, the $3.60 favourite, finished fifth on debut in the Blue Diamond fillies Preview (1000m) in late January before Hayes backed off and waited to produce her again in Wednesday’s event with race experience on her side.

The daughter of Stratum began well to sit second before striding clear to win by 4-1/2 lengths.

“Hopefully she pulls up well and we can scout around for some black type now,” Dabernig said.

“We’ve always had an opinion of her. She wasn’t quite ready to be screwed down for a race like the Blue Diamond so we just backed off her and waited until after that.

Jockey Stephen Baster said Tawteen had better wins in store.

“She does everything right. She pings the barriers and puts herself there. She’s going to win plenty more races,” he said.

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