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  • John Curtis


FRIDAY, February 5, 2021: CLAIRE Lever was pragmatic in running about the outcome of the first race at Gosford yesterday.

“I turned away when it looked as though Pragmatism couldn’t win,” the Hawkesbury trainer said this morning.

“But she has heaps of determination, and so has Chad (jockey husband).

“He didn’t give up and kept riding her and eventually lifted her over the line.”

Former jockey Lever clinched her fourth winner in her initial season of training when former Victorian mare Pragmatism, a solidly backed $2.10 favorite, turned what appeared certain defeat into victory in the Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1200m).

Newcastle mare Virtuous Miss ($2.15) jumped in front, made the running and looked home when she skipped clear on straightening.

However, she began to falter in sight of the winning post and Pragmatism overhauled her to break through at her sixth start after four minor placings, including three in town.

The five-year-old daughter of 2005 Golden Slipper winner Stratum only recently joined Lever’s team, and her new trainer is confident she can go on with the job now that she has shed her maiden status.

Prgamatism fetched $90,000 at the 2017 Inglis Premier yearling sale, but never raced for her original trainer David Brideoake.

“She had barrier issues, and was on sold online for $4500,” Lever explained.

“I’m still learning about Pragmatism as that was only her third run for me yesterday.

“Whilst she is small, she has a big heart and is a good doer.

“She has settled in really well and is a happy mare.

“It’s always satisfying to take a horse to the races when you know they are doing everything right and will give their all in a race.”

Lever is confident Pragmatism will take confidence from her Gosford breakthrough, and that she will manage up to 1400m.

Pragmatism had finished third to another Hawkesbury representative, Mike Van Gestel’s Titan Star, and Virtuous Miss at the same track and over the same distance in a Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap on January 15.

Under yesterday’s Plate (set weights) conditions, she had a 3.5kg turnaround on Virtuous Miss, which clearly proved decisive at the end.

. Lever will have two runners at Bathurst on Monday as she seeks to add to her tally – and no prizes for guessing husband Chad partners both.

She runs Fast Play – who was her first ever starter at Mudgee last August – in the Maiden Handicap (1208m), and Choosday Nights in the Maiden Plate (1408m).

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