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23/03/02 Three Group Wins for Arnold After Spurn Success
0323sarnold.jpg (9180 bytes)The "Stevie Arnold Group Winning Show" at Moonee Valley stretched to three consecutive races when the hot hoop piloted Spurn to victory in the Group Two Sunline Stakes in a thrilling finish.

Fresh after winning his sixth Group One race aboard Toledo in the Australia Stakes over 1200 metres, and the previous race, the Group Two Alister Clark Stakes thanks to Royal Code, Arnold continued his Group race domination with his success in the Sunline.

Spurn, a mare which Robert Smerdon had given up on this time last year, claimed her second Group win in three starts in today’s $130,000 event.

A locally bred daughter of the Golden Slipper winner Flying Spur, Spurn was faced with bone surgery after a leg injury which flared during a trip to Adelaide at that city’s Cup Carnival last year.

0323spurn.jpg (11607 bytes)"We had to give her five and a half months off after she has bone chips removed from a leg," Smerdon recalled.

"With Robert (breeder and owner Rob Crabtree) being a breeder I felt he might like to retire to her stud at the time."

"Thankfully he told me to persist as he felt she needed some black type to boost her value and (breeding) prospects," Smerdon said.

Crabtree then set a programme of four feature events which the four-year-old mare would target in her black type hunt.

0323r6spurn2.jpg (7951 bytes)"From the four she was won two (the Mannerism Stakes was the other) and placed in the other two – so it’s worked out great," Smerdon reflected.

Connections have indicated they will now send Spurn to the paddock for a well deserved break.

"She’s earned a break and she’ll head to the paddock now," Smerdon said.

Spurn had to pull out all stops to win the event after a determined challenge by the last start Flemington winner Tickle My.

That mare’s trainer Bruce Purcell was proud with the effort of his mare in the Sunline Stakes and she could also be heading for a break.

"There really isn’t much else around for her now," Purcell said.

PICS – Quentin Lang.

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