Mr Brightside fights hard in Caulfield feature

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2022 PB Lawrence

Mr Brightside has started his spring campaign right where he left off in the autumn, with a gritty win in Saturday's Group 2 at .

The -trained gelding finished his autumn campaign with a classy win in the  in Sydney, so to win first-up over 1400m in the spring was a huge thrill for co-trainer Ben.

Given a beautiful ride by Craig Williams in today's $300,000 event, Mr Brightside fought hard in the concluding stages to deny the -trained by two-tenths of a length.

2022 PB Lawrence Stakes Replay

“The horse is super special,” Ben Hayes said.

“JD & I, if it wasn't for him – he put us on the map – so full credit to him.

“Beautiful ride by Craig and boy he was tough. He really knuckled down and hit the line really hard – he was right in for the fight – and I think that's really exciting going forward because he wasn't wound up today and he's definitely announced himself.”

Despite never winning beyond 1630m, the son of Bullbars holds a nomination for the , Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup, with Hayes of the belief that he will be at his best over 2000m.

“He showed he can mix it with them in the – it was a very good run there, and then obviously ,” the co-trainer said.

“But today to win first-up – something he hasn't done for us – and really knuckle down and stretch out like that was really exciting.

“That was excellent. A big thrill. I wish they were all like him. It's going to be an interesting prep.

“I'd love to see him out to 2000m – I actually think he'll be better when he gets past the mile, so I think we'll stick to our guns and head to the Feehan – give him a look at The Valley and that might give us an idea where we go after that.”

With (2040m) the target this spring for Mr Brightside, online bookmakers have the Group 1 winner rated a $26 chance.

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