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SURPRISE winner Maids Hero may yet have a staying future after winning the Coates Maiden Handicap at Coffs Harbour yesterday.

The mare broke through over the metric mile at her 17th start and while suitable races for one with her pedigree aren't readily available, trainer Trevor Hardy said there was some merit in her last start over the same distance at Grafton on March 9.

“I thought it was a pretty good run at Grafton and her looks have improved since ... she's freshened up and seemed to be feeling better in herself,” he said.

“She doesn't like it too wet so today's 'dead-5' track was just what she needed with that little bit of sting out.”

Hardy said he had empathy for the mare after training her mother.

“Rhythmic Maid won a few races for me and she was by Kala Dancer so she was always going to handle a soft track and a bit of distance,” he said.

Meanwhile, popular Coffs Harbour Gold Cup-winner, Mr Gold Fire, is back in work for his fourth tilt at the big race on August 6.

According to the stable's local representative Peter Goodenough, owner-trainer Jim Jarvis believes the horse is better than ever and will follow the same formula that's delivered a string of Northern Rivers Racing Association feature races during the last few years.



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