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Tanby wins his way into Caulfield Cup
Mike Hedge
16:12 AEST Sat Oct 6 2012

Prolific owner Lloyd Williams confirmed two major Cup prospects within 20 minutes on Saturday with the wins of Mourayan at Randwick and Tanby at Flemington.

While Mourayan was already among Williams' Melbourne Cup calculations, Tanby needed his victory in the Listed Bart Cummings (2500m) to help promote him in the entry order for the Caulfield Cup.

In a race that became notable before the start through the scratching of the heavily-backed favourite Exceptionally due to the firmness of the track, Tanby ($3.60) scored by a length from Maluckyday ($5).

Dame Claire ($8) battled on well to hold third, a head further back.

The battle on the track was preceded by another in the stewards room where trainer Terry O'Sullivan asked stewards for permission to scratch Exceptionally and threatened not to run her if they didn't grant his request.

O'Sullivan complained before race one that the Flemington track was too firm and could destroy her more important spring prospects if she was forced to run.

The stewards argued that the track condition had been known to O'Sullivan before scratching time on race morning.

The trainer said he had left the mare in the race because rain had been forecast, but had not arrived by race time and, in any case, was more firm than the official reading.

"I believe the track is very, very firm," O'Sullivan said.

Under the rules of racing a trainer can scratch a horse if the track condition changes during the race meeting.

After considering the situation for three races, chief steward Terry Bailey ruled the circumstances were extenuating and allowed Exceptionally to be withdrawn.

O'Sullivan will now attempt to qualify Exceptionally through the Herbert Power Handicap at Caulfield next week.


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