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'Ideal gate' helps quest for eight

Nicole Irwin is confident Highly Decorated can run rivals ragged from an inside alley in Wednesday’s $107,250 Balaklava Cup (1600m).

Highly Decorated has won his past seven starts including a brilliant last-start Darwin Cup victory and Irwin, formerly Bruggemann, is confident getting back onto turf won’t be an issue from his inside barrier.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem,’’ Irwin said on RadioTAB’s Racing Active.

“He won his maiden on a Heavy 8 and he had reasonable grass form before he was purchased and brought to South Australia.

“The track at Bakak(lava), they have been looking after that inside rail, we were bloody lucky enough we drew gate one which is his ideal gate…. We think things are heading our way,’’ she said.

Irwin has made the decision to make the move and call Darwin home while maintaining a small team at Murray Bridge.

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