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    FIRST STRING - Photo Dan Costello

    AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase First String added another feature to his collection when triumphant at Albion Park last night. Winner of last season’s Group... First adds another string to bow
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    AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase First String added another feature to his collection when triumphant at Albion Park last night.

    Winner of last season’s Group One Qbred Triad Final, First String returned to successfully defend his title for trainer Craig Cross.

    Pleased with the three-year-old’s performance, Cross has elected to extend First String’s Queensland campaign.

    “He will stay up there for another run to try and pick up his bonus,” Cross said. “We’ve got two-year-old which will be going up for the APG series in a few weeks, so he will stay until then and come back with those.

    “After that he will have a short freshen-up before we take aim at the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge.”

    With Luke McCarthy holding the reins, First String settled midfield from his second row draw as Left A Terror led from the pole.

    Angled three-wide during the middle stages the son of Roll With Joe was sent forward to test the pacemaker from the ‘death seat’.

    Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, First String staved off a late challenge from Lifes Black to score by a head, with Left A Terror three metres away third.

    Rating 1:57.3 over 2138 metres, the gelding stretched his record to seven wins and three placings from 16 starts for earnings of $121,860.

    “He went enormous,” Cross said. “It was good to see him bounce back last night as he went terrible in Bathurst, but I discovered after the race he had an abscess in his foot.

    “With his foot fixed and the way he worked on Tuesday before heading up, I knew he was ready to win.”

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