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Stable favourite Shadow Ninja fires first up

 Shadow Ninja, a much-loved member of the Mark Kavanagh stable, notched his seventh win on Saturday when successful in the Le Pines Funeral Handicap over 1300m at Sandown.

The five-year-old has been a model of consistency throughout his career and only seems to be improving with age, graduating to Melbourne metropolitan class with his Sandown win.

He had previously won six races, including two at Morphettville, and had been placed on a further seven occasions, but three narrow defeats in his first three runs last preparation saw him shaping as somewhat of a 'bridesmaid'.

That tag was shed on Saturday however when Shadow Ninja showed great determination to first wear down leader and race favourite Rich Jack and then stave off the fast finishing Specter.

The near black gelding has earned favouritism amongst the Kavanagh staff by virtue of his kind and willing nature.

"He is just a gentleman and a pleasure to do anything with," said trainer Mark Kavanagh "He always gives his best."

"We'll look for similar races for him and hopefully he can keep improving through the grades."

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