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Thubiaan wins for Waller at Flemington
Mathew Toogood
07:11 AEST Sun May 5 2013

Thubiaan's recent activities could be a hint to a future over jumps but on Saturday his staying ability and toughness was good enough to earn him victory on the flat at Flemington.

The five-year-old gelding fought back after being headed to defeat Sky Raider by a nose in the Reduce Reuse Recycle Handicap (2800m), giving premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller winners in three states on the day.

It took the judge several minutes to declare the winner, with Thubiaan's jockey Craig Newitt resigned to a dead-heat and the Waller team thinking they had lost.

"I thought he was beaten," Waller's Melbourne stable representative Justine Hales said.

"The owner was settling for second as well. He's a tough horse though."

Compound came in a long head away third.

Thubiaan has won six of his 20 starts with two victories over 2800m.

"I said to the owner, `maybe we should win the Grand National with him'," Hales said.

Part of Thubiaan's routine recently has included schooling over jumps.

"Tom Ryan has jumped on him and given him a bit of a jump around. He loves him," Hales said.

Ryan was narrowly beaten on Man Of Class in Thursday's Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool.

But Hales stopped short of saying Thubiaan would have a go at jumps racing in the future.

"I don't know, we keep telling Chris he should. We'll see," Hales said.

The Listed Andrew Ramsden (3200m) at Flemington in two weeks is a likely option for Thubiaan who Newitt praised for his tenacity after taking up the lead due to the slow tempo.

"On the line I was going to be happy with a dead-heat, but he got the bob," Newitt said.

Waller's other winners on Saturday were Studio at the Gold Coast and Zoustar and Coup Acclaim at Hawkesbury.

Tony McEvoy had to settle for close seconds with two-year-old The Messina Nymph and then Sky Rocket but got on the board with three-year-old Jimando who scored in another tight finish to the Momentum Energy Handicap.

"We were standing at the TV screen before thinking, `how did we lose that photo finish'," McEvoy's stable representative Michael Sheperdson said of Sky Raider's defeat.

"But big Jim (Jimando) made up for it."

Soon after McEvoy won the Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury with Mouro.

Jimando, who won by a short head, is set to head to Brisbane for the Queensland Guineas.