havasay charges to victory in the Ramornie Handicap.
havasay charges to victory in the Ramornie Handicap.

Havasay has last word in Ramornie thriller

HAVASAY completed rare back-to-back wins in the Listed $160,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) with a thrilling last-stride win in the Grafton feature sprint on Wednesday.

Star Boy had dashed clear with what seemed a winning lead halfway down the straight only to be collared right on the line by the fast finishing Havasay with Freddie Foxtrot in the minor placing.

Grafton track specialist Havasay, who was ridden by Matthew McGillivray, became the first horse since The Jackal to win successive Ramornie Handicaps.

But the win wasn't without a hint controversy as Havasay was formerly trained by Queensland-based Liam Birchley, who is banned from racing horses in NSW.

Birchley was charged by Victorian stewards over his alleged involvement in the Aquanita doping scandal and disqualified for 12 months.

The trainer has maintained his innocence and is appealing against the decision.

He has been granted permission to continue training in Queensland under a stay of proceedings but Racing NSW stewards have ordered any nominations from the Birchley stable for a NSW race to be rejected.

Havasay was switched to the stable of trainer Toby Edmonds for both of his Ramornie wins.

Godolphin's Haunted was heavily backed into $2.80 favouritism but missed the start by nearly two lengths and was never a serious threat, finishing only eighth.

Topweight Care To Think also disappointed, struggling from the turn and dropping out to run 14th, beating only Camdus to the finish.

News Corp Australia

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