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Image: Steve Hart
Fan favourite Tom Melbourne has turned in a tidy second in a trial at Beaudesert

Fan favourite Tom Melbourne has turned in a tidy trial at Beaudesert, albeit teasing the Chris Waller stable by running second.

The gelding has a cult following boosted by his reputation for finishing second 14 times in races as well as winning six.

Tom Melbourne and stablemate Le Juge were booked to return to Sydney after trialling two weeks ago but Waller elected to give them some extra time in the Queensland sun.

They both went to Beaudesert trials on Monday where Tom Melbourne was second to the speedy Memes without being pushed around and Le Juge was fourth in the same 1050m-heat.

Waller’s Queensland manager Paul Shailer said both had done what was expected of them in the trial but there had been one big bonus.

“I must say I have never seen Tom Melbourne settle as well as he did for Ryan Maloney,” Shailer said.

“They never really went better than three-quarter pace but Tom Melbourne settled beautifully in behind the leaders and then worked to the line as we wanted.

“It is certainly a valuable pointer to keep in mind in future discussions about race riders.”

He is headed to stakes races in the southern spring carnivals after twice being minor-placed in the Brisbane winter and finishing a last-start fifth in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.

Le Juge, the winner of five races in Brisbane this year, is headed to the Group One Epsom Handicap on October 5.

Shailer said Tom Melbourne and Le Juge were booked on a horse float bound for Sydney on Wednesday.

Stablemate Savigne will probably remain in Queensland for the time being after her trial.

Savigne dropped out last in her heat and ran on fairly to finish fourth.

“She will need another trial and it will probably be up here but the final decision is up to Chris,” Shailer said.

Savigne has not run since finishing midfield in the Group One Queensland Oaks on June 1.

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