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The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Siege Of Quebec did his Epsom Handicap chances no harm with a tough win in the Group 3 $160,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick today.

Siege Of Quebec, above in light blue colours, scores a nose win in the Bill Ritchie Handicap at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Siege Of Quebec, above in light blue colours, scores a nose win in the Bill Ritchie Handicap at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Winning jockey Tim Clark settled Siege Of Quebec in the middle of the pack and the four year old had a quiet run in behind the pace.

The $2.90 favourite Pierata had a tough run out three wide facing the breeze for most of the way and fought hard in the straight but couldn’t hold off the determined finish of Siege Of Quebec ($4.40) who put his nose in front right on the line.

Music Magnate ($14) set the pace and did a good job to hold on for third.

Siege Of Quebec’s price for the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 29 has shortened up dramatically from $61 to $15 while Pierata has remained a $10 chance.

“That has always been the aim for him (The Epsom Handicap),” Bott said.

“Always thought that would be a lovely race for him getting out to the mile as his preferred trip and we see him now as a light weight chance. It’s great we have been able to get into the race. He can show us what he’s made of.”

Siege Of Quebec was quick to turn around a disappointing last start when he failed to be a runner home when seventh in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

“We didn’t have any hesitation in bringing him here, he’s a big tough colt and on Sunday/Monday didn’t look to have taken any harm. We had fully confidence on backing him up.”

“He’s been able to bounce back with a really strong win today.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.