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  • Provincial Racing NSW


KRISTEN Buchanan threw normal procedure “out the window” to clinch a Ramornie Handicap start with Cecil Street Lad at Grafton’s July carnival.

And the Wyong trainer says it would be rude not to have a crack at the Jacaranda city’s feature $200,000 sprint on Wednesday week.

Former Victorian Cecil Street Lad ($4.60), ridden by Brisbane jockey Taylor Marshall, landed the John Carlton Cup Quality (1195m) at Grafton on Sunday to secure a “free ticket” to the 1200m Ramornie.

Cecil Street Lad ran sixth to Pokerjack in a midweek Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury last Wednesday, and Buchanan made a late decision to take him to Grafton.

“It’s not something I would normally do to back a horse up so quickly,” she said on Sunday evening.

“But the horse didn’t have an overly testing run at Canterbury, and one of his owners was coming back from the Gold Coast Marathon.

“After Cecil Street Lad worked well on Sunday morning, and had drawn well at Grafton, I decided to go.”

Buchanan also accepted with Delexo for the John Carlton Cup, but ran him at Royal Randwick a day earlier and switched Marshall to Cecil Street Lad once she made up her mind.

“I was glad to have Taylor on him as he needed to be ridden aggressively, and that’s exactly what he did.”

Marshall had Cecil Street Lad in sight of leader Bugalugs ($16) on straightening, and ran him down; the pair both carrying the same weight (59kg).

The first two had the finish to themselves, with third placegetter Swamp Nation ($31) two and a half lengths astern.

Marshall also rode Cecil Street Lad’s stablemate Gulf Of Tomini, who ran third at $7.50 in the Grafton Cup Prelude (2200m).

Buchanan has now won three races with much-travelled Cecil Street Lad, who has competed in the three eastern States – and been victorious in all of them.

She scored first-up with him at Canterbury in August last year for Lee Magorrian, and again at Gosford in March for apprentice Anna Roper.

Buchanan has had only one previous Ramornie runner Pandora Blue, who ran 13th in 2022 to Ranges as a $21 chance after winning a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) at Randwick 18 days earlier.

But she is no stranger to feature success at the Grafton carnival, having won the 2020 South Grafton Cup (1600m) with Jazzland, ridden by Koby Jennings.

Buchanan intended stabling her horses overnight at a small farm just outside Grafton before heading home on Monday morning.

Though beaten at Randwick on Saturday, two-year-old Winning Proposal again endeared herself to her trainer and owners when third under 59kg, conceding 3kg to both first and second placegetters Brave One and Mayfair.

“She’s a little beauty,” Buchanan said. “We’ll give her a let-up for now.”

Winning Proposal has raced only five times and won twice and been placed twice, and also ran an excellent fourth in the $2m Inglis Millennium (1100m) at Randwick in February.

Story John Curtis, July 7, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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