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The decision to leave classy stayer Ilwendo in Brisbane after a disastrous previous start has paid dividends at Doomben.

Ilwendo struck severe interference in the straight at Doomben last Saturday before finishing seventh behind top three-year-old Eric The Eel.

Queensland racing went to regions this week, which meant Ilwendo was restricted to running in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast if he remained in the north.

Warwick Farm trainer Matt Smith elected to leave Ilwendo in Brisbane with Eagle Farm trainer Barry Lockwood.

Ilwendo repaid him with a four-length win over outsider Strike Sima ($71) in the Ascot Childcare Handicap (2200m) on Saturday.

Jockey Brad Stewart was able to race Ilwendo ($2.25) in front and was always in command.

Lockwood said there was a similar race for Ilwendo in a fortnight.

“But under these current restrictions Matt will make up his mind about staying here next week,” Lockwood said.

“One thing I can say is I would love to have a horse like him in my own stable. These Sydney horses are in a different league to our stayers.”

 
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