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Honorius Too Good For Masked Marvel In Craven Plate

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Honorius has proven victorious in a tough battle up the straight with Masked Marvel in the Group 3 Craven Plate at Royal Randwick.

The talented four-year-old was challenged by a fast finishing Masked Marvel, however, Honorius was too strong in the closing stages of the race.

Honorius (inside) has defeated Masked Marvel (outside) in the 2013 Craven Plate.

Honorius (inside) has defeated Masked Marvel (outside) in the 2013 Craven Plate. Photo : Steve Hart.

Honorius has now won four of his 23 starts and has accumulated more than $465,000 in prize money during his horse racing career.

The Holy Roman Empire entire is trained at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse by David Payne and was having his fourth spring start in today’s Craven Plate.

David Payne was at the track to watch Honorius score his first stakes win of the spring.

“He’ll fight till the death,” Payne said.

“This is his optimum I think.

“He’s just below the (best horses) but that’s how good they are.

“I’m going to take him to Melbourne and just look for the easier races. Duck the big boys.”

James McDonald was the jockey to steer Honorius to his 2013 Craven Plate win, who admitted he was concerned that Masked Marvel was going to catch him.

“(It was) probably lucky I found that half a length when I needed to,” McDonald said.

“Masked Marvel was coming at the end. I was a bit worried.

“(But) he travelled up really good.

“I wouldn’t like to see him past 2,000.”

With his ideal trip of 2,000 metres in mind, Honorius will likely stick to that distance for the remainder of the spring racing carnival.

Today’s Black Type win was surprisingly the first for Honorius, who featured strongly in Group events throughout his three-year-old season.

Honorius placed third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes behind It’s A Dundeel and Proisir last spring, before posting another third in the Group 1 Queensland Derby in June this year.

The impressive galloper was paying odds of $3.80 to win the Craven Plate, while Masked Marvel was the $2.90 favourite.

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