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A drop in both grade and distance has allowed So Splendid return to winning form at Sandown.

In a campaign now stretching out to nine runs, So Splendid had been winless since her first-up win at Warwick Farm in October.

That all changed with a dominant performance in Wednesday’s United Petroleum Handicap (1800m).

Ridden by Michael Dee, the Chris Waller-trained four-year-old was sent off a $6 chance before scoring a 3-3/4 length win from Rising Hope ($16) with Divine Command ($11) a long head away third.

Waller’s Melbourne representative Johanne Taylor said it was pleasing to see the mare back in winning form.

“She was unlucky at Caulfield in two starts and then last start pulled herself into the ground at Flemington,” Taylor said.

“It’s good to see her back to what we know she’s capable of.”

Dee said he was surprised by the margin of the win, insisting So Splendid still wanted to over-race early but was much better than she was at Flemington.

“She went close a couple of times in this long prep and I thought last time she would go very close,” Dee said.

“We rolled forward from a wide draw but she just over-did it throughout the whole race.

“Today the key was to get her to relax and she was able to come back to me pretty good although she was still a little bit keen early.

“I was quite surprised that I won by such a margin at the end.

“She did give a good kick but I thought there might have been something coming late.”

The early part of Wednesday’s program was highlighted by a training treble for Darren Weir who won the opening three races, providing Damien Lane with a double aboard Won Ball in the Polytrack Handicap and Holy Blade in the Dream Thoroughbreds Handicap.

Damien Oliver wasn’t to be outdone with a double on $26 outsider Jane’s Angel in the Clanbrooke Racing Handicap and Eaton in the Spicer Thoroughbreds Handicap where less than a length separated the first six horses.

Luke Nolen was suspended for eight meetings on a careless riding charge after finishing second on runner-up Savvy Ken in the Schweppes Handicap, won by the Weir-trained Hermanito.

 
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