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Emphatic Ecumenical impresses with first-up win

Talented mare Ecumenical signalled she’s poised for a big spring with a brilliant return to racing at Morphettville on Saturday.

The second leg of training double for veteran Murray Bridge horseman Mick Huxtable, the daughter of Cornerstone Stud stallion Zebedee, made it five wins from 16 starts and took prizemoney beyond $414,000 in the process.

It was an emphatic win, coming off the speed to roll past rivals at her first start since running 10th in the Centaurea Stakes at Morphettville in May.

Ecumenical was ridden by John Letts Medallist Jessica Eaton who was also aboard stablemate Perfect Route who scored earlier in the day.

Leading trainer Phillip Stokes took training honours after winning the opening two races with Huffington and Hanabi before Apache Star defied rivals late in the day to give the dual-state trainer a treble.

But the day’s most impressive win came in the last when former New South Wales mare Enchantingly made in successive city victories for Scott Westover when she blew rivals away to win by 7.5 lengths.

Jockey Todd Pannell was full of praise for the job Westover has done with the five-year-old previous trained by Chris Waller.

“He’s really working hard,’’ Pannell said of Westover.

“It’s nice he’s found a nice horse; he’s doing a really good job.

“It’s in great condition, fit, looks well and happy. And really performing,’’ he said.

And Pannell said the win was more impressive give the ease in which Enchantingly won the race.

“I was only hands and heels,’’ Pannell said.

“It’s interesting to see where this horse might go this prep,’’ he said.

MEANWHILE one of the most exciting wins over the weekend might have come in the 900m maiden at Murray Bridge on Sunday.

Speak No Eagle, sporting the Grand Syndicates colours worn by his three-time Group 1 winning stablemate Behemoth, made light work of his rivals on debut for David Jolly.

Despite wanting to race greenly, the three-year-old who is among Caulfield Guineas nominations, raced past horse in the home straight to score with plenty in hand.

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