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Permissive Star has a smart racing brain after he remained unbeaten with a fighting win at Sandown

Jockey James Winks says for a lightly raced horse Permissive Star has a smart racing brain after he remained unbeaten with a fighting win at Sandown.

In what was looked on as a match race in the betting ring, three-year-old Permissive Star held off a late challenge from another three-year-old No Drama Darci to win Wednesday’s Spicer Thoroughbred Handicap (1300m).

Jumping smartly from a wide draw, Permissive Star ($2.50) defeated the $1.85 favourite No Drama Darci by a head with Search Squad ($41) 1-3/4 lengths away third.

“He won the race at the start,” Winks said.

“He shanghaied the start and was in front within 100 metres.

“To his credit, for a young horse he’s quite intelligent and when he got to the front he rested for me.

“He helped me as much as I could help him.

“He’s big and raw and there’s big open spaces here at Sandown but when it was needed he stuck his head out.”

Winks said there were better wins in store for the Hawkes Racing-trained gelding but would not be drawn on how far he could go.

“I’ll leave that to the Hawkes family,” he said.

Favourite punters fared better in the Plate (1300m) with Stocktaka prevailing.

Trainer Mick Kent said the $2 top elect had no favours before holding out Judge O’Reilly ($3.70) by a short head.

“I think he’s a bit better than what he showed there and I think he’ll be better if allowed to be ridden a bit quieter,” Kent said.

“He’s got good ability and he’s still a three-year-old and we’re thinking he’ll get a bit of a trip.

“There’s plenty of options if he can make the next step.

“He’s shown enough at home but he’s still quite raw so we’ll see where he takes us, but we’ll just go through our grades for the moment.”

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