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Flying three-year-old Protege makes brilliant debut at Belmont Park

Flying three-year-old Protege flagged rich Ascot carnival feature event starts when winning brilliantly over 1200m on Wednesday in probably the best debut of Belmont Park’s winter season.

Top apprentice jockey Holly Watson eased the Mitchell Pateman-trained gelding after taking two looks back, searching for opposition, near home and he strolled in by four lengths.

“Protege will measure up at the Ascot carnival,” Pateman said. “He’s learning all the time, after being quirky in barrier stalls education, and there’s lots of improvement in him.”

Watson, in high spirits when dismounting from Protege, said the bay exceeded her expectations under race conditions.

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