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Free Of Debt shines in the Wylie

Free Of Debt completed his successful return to the top winning Saturday’s Listed Wylie Handicap at Morphettville.

It’s been a bumpy road for the one-time Blue Diamond placegetter.

Hopes the horse would turn into a stallion prospect hindered his progression, former owners Aquis Farm sold their share, and the decision was made to geld the horse before a subsequent throat operation halted his career.

But trainer Chris Bieg has nursed the horse back to his best, winning three of his past four starts while giving Gary Lo the biggest win of his career in the process.

It was a big day for Lo, celebrating his Wylie win with a salute, and landing a double in the process after scoring aboard Huffington for the Stokes stable.

Stokes took training honours with a double of their own when Ballynora proved she’s a horse capable of mixing it in Melbourne during the spring with a last-stride win.

Sunday saw Royal Bower claim back-to-back Country Cup wins, taking out the Mindarie-Halidon feature for Karen Byrnes and Claudia Lions just eight days after winning the Roxby Downs Cup.

In Melbourne there were mixed results for the South Australians.

He’s a Balter continued his outstanding form since joining Will Clarken with a second successive Caulfield win, his fourth straight, and fifth win from nine start since coming to SA.

Ecumenical was brave in defeat behind Annavisto, Scott Westover’s Enchantingly likewise at her Group 3 debut in the How Now Stakes beaten under two lengths with Smokin’ Val just behind her.

While the big three finished in a line behind Sierra Sue in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Behemoth the first horse home in sixth spot just in front of Beau Rossa and Dalasan.

While in Sydney Gytrash produced a brilliant return when he was beaten less than a length and a half behind Eduardo and Nature Strip in the Group 2 Shorts after he was cramped for racing room in the home straight.

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