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Casquets in contention for Diamond start
Mathew Toogood
14:21 AEST Sat Feb 16 2013

Talented filly Casquets put herself in the mix for next weekend's $1 million Blue Diamond with a hard-fought win in the Listed Talindert Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

Ridden by Stephen Baster who notched his first city victory since his sudden return from Singapore, the Mark Kavanagh-trained Casquets defied a betting drift in the 1100m race to defeat Annenberg by a long head with 2-1/4 lengths to Essie's Pride third.

Kavanagh said he would monitor the Fastnet Rock filly over the weekend before deciding whether to back her up in the Blue Diamond at Caulfield next Saturday.

Casquets firmed from $31 to $17 for Victoria's premier juvenile race after her Talindert win.

"There's a sense of timing with her right now, so we'll see how she does over the weekend and work out whether we send her to the paddock or whether we go forward," Kavanagh said.

"There's certainly improvement in her. If she could improve as much going into next week as she did from Moonee Valley to here she would certainly be a chance I think."

Casquets finished third on debut at Moonee Valley at the start of the month but turned the tables on Annenberg who was second in the Valley race.

Kavanagh doesn't believe backing the filly up would worry her.

"We left her pretty raw first-up and we've just let her naturally improve," he said.

"This race should bring her on, so we'll wait and see."

Casquets races in the navy blue colours of Coolmore Stud and Baster was thrilled to mark his city return in Australia with a win.

"It's great to be back with a winner at Flemington and great to be home," Baster said.

"Coolmore and Kav have been two of my biggest supporters over the years so it's fitting to ride a winner for them first-up."

Baster made his return to Australian racing on Wednesday after having his licence to ride in Singapore withdrawn by the Singapore Turf Club last month without explanation.

He had finished second on the premiership during his year in Singapore in 2012.

"It was a bit of a shock, no reason was given," Baster said.

But he's now looking forward.

"To tell you the truth, there's no place like home."


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