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Winter King in second chance at Caulfield
Robert Grant
16:35 AEST Wed Dec 5 2012

Former Darwin trainer Stephen Brown hopes his second chance with Winter King will be more straightforward than the last.

Brown was confident of success with the six-year-old at Moonee Valley in an open sprint race two weeks ago.

But in a rare mishap the barrier gates were opened early and Winter King leapt out and had to be scratched after he could not be pulled up.

Now, though, Brown says his gelding has an ideal chance to put the incident behind him in the $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

"He's 100 per cent ready for it," Brown said. "I think this is the right sort of race for him. I don't think there's much in there that can beat him.

"I think he's a genuine Group-type horse. He's run in some really nice races without winning."

A former Sydneysider, Winter King had his first start for Brown when he finished fourth to General Truce at Flemington on November 8.

Brown also has six-year-old Bolton set to run in a 1600m race and Emboldened in a 1200m handicap.

He said Bolton's past two starts, where he finished 10th in the Group Two Yellowglen Stakes at Flemington and the Listed Heffernan Stakes at Sandown, are misleading.

They followed a trio of runner-up finishes in Darwin and Brown was quick to excuse the gelding.

"He didn't have a lot of time off after Darwin and we've been a little bit behind the eight-ball with him," he said.

"He did put a bit of weight on and he's a horse that takes two or three runs, maybe four runs, to really peak."

Emboldened has been battling niggling injuries but the five-year-old has produced a win and a last-start second at Ballarat in what is likely to be a short preparation.

"I think we'll get a couple more out of him but he's got a few little minor problems," Brown said.

"They're just back problems but we seem to be on top of that. He ran well the other day at Ballarat.


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