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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eagle Farm, March 20, 2010.
Track - Good 3. Rail - True.
QTIS 3yo Handicap - 1200m. Time: 1-10.11. (Carrying 54kg).
1 Bevagna; 2 Listen Son; 3 Glacial Miss.

The last race on the card provided both the closest finish and the best battle of the day as the Mick Mair trained Bevagna and the Tony Gollan trained Listen Son fought out a punishing stride-for-stride battle for virtually the whole length of the straight with the result being decided by a nose in favour of Bevagna.

It was Listen Son who led the field at the turn with Bevagna in close attendance and these two runners then became involved in what basically became a private battle for the honours.

Listen Son kicked hard in the first half of the straight under regular jockey Kristy Banks and Bevagna put her head down and chased the leader with meaning under the determined urgings of jockey Michael Hughes ... and boy, did she have to chase.

Listen Son is an extremely hard horse to get past and he held on tenaciously to his advantage, but, on this day, he was meeting a runner with a similar focus and determination. Listen Son refused to give ground easily. Bevagna refused to give up and so ... slowly, slowly, with the help of a favourable 4kg advantage at the weights ... Bavagna gradually began to reel in the front-runner.

There was no let-up from either runner over the concluding stages. No knockout blow ... just a narrow points decision for Bevagna as she and Listen Son continued to trade punches all the way to the line in an intense, driving finale to their protracted battle.

In the end, it was Bavagna by a nose.

Jockey Michael Hughes: “No, I didn’t know who’d won. We were sort of up and down that last 50. Neither horse was going to go away, but being on the outside ... it was probably just a bob of the head and that was always what it was going to be and we happened to get it. It worked out alright.

“That’s what she does. He is a hard horse to beat like that. It turned into a dogfight that last bit, but she was good enough to get it. She was gutsy. It was a good win for me as well. It’s my first win in town as a senior.

“Yeah, I don’t get that many rides in town. The strike-rate is probably alright considering the amount of rides. Yeah, I’m really happy with that. That’s one for Mick (Mair) and the owners. They’ve been good to me.”

Owner Neville Bell: “Look, I was very happy to go for a dead-heat on the line. I would have been happy with a dead-heat because I thought she was just weakening a little bit, but then in that last hop she pushed the old nose out so the result has just been great.

“It was a great ride by young Michael (Hughes). He doesn’t get a lot of opportunities. He does a lot of work for us at Coloundra and I’ve very happy to have him on any horse we have in a race.”

Winner (Bevagna): 11.00 out to 12.00.
Favourite (Unica Bahaya): 3.50 out to 3.60 in to 3.50. Finished fourth.

Glacial Miss (J. Taylor) was slow to begin. Dirty Martini (M. Palmer) jumped away awkwardly and lost ground.

After passing the 1100m, Geblitzt had to be eased to avoid the heels of Catallion (J. Bowditch), which was taken in by Listen Son (K. Banks), which shifted in when not sufficiently clear. K. Banks, rider of Listen Son, was issued with a severe reprimand and advised to provide riders sufficient clearance when shifting ground in future.

Patapinda (C. Munce) hung out badly from the 1000m and shifted extremely wide on the track. Patapinda trailed the field for the remainder of the race. Mrs K. Hall, representing trainer T. Hall, was advised that Patapinda must trial satisfactorily before being permitted to race again.

Glacial Miss and Dirty Martini (M. Palmer) both over-raced in the early stages.

When struck with the whip near the 250m, Geblitzt (T. Lovelock-Wiggins) shifted in and made contact with the running rail.

Glacial Miss was held up and unable to obtain clear running in the home straight until near the 200m.

Craiglea Blondie (K. Wharton) and Unica Bahaya (T. Bell) raced three wide throughout.

A post race veterinary examination of Patapinda revealed the gelding to have lacerations inside its mouth on both sides.

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