Trainer Shane Nichols was put to the test on Saturday as his runner Streets Of Avalon did it tough over Chris Wallers Imaging to rise from the canvas and claim the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield

It was tougher than most for Nichols as less than 6 months he had suffered a heart attack and the thrilling finish to the $500,000 feature would certainly have put his recovery to the test. 

The race was down to the Waller runner and Nichols Streets Of Avalon going past the 200 metre marker and after kicking away at 150m Nichols looked to have the race sewn up only for Imaging to come late and look the likely winner.

Jockey Zac Spain would throw everything at Streets Of Avalon in the final 50m to dig deep and hold off the powerful finish of Imaging. 

The trainer said Streets Of Avalon’s second Group One win made up for the difficult period he faced in the weeks after his heart attack.

“It was a tough time,” Nichols said. “The well wishes and things made it all seem a little bit easier and days like today, that and family is what you live for.

“The heart was racing. I gave it a test out and it came through in flying colours. I don’t know whether mine works as good as his (Streets Of Avalon’s).”

Also in the race we saw the return of Sir Dragonet who didn’t show much on his return to racing finishing 7th overall and jockey Glenn Boss feeling like the ground was the main issue:

“I was surprised when the sprint came on he came off the bridle a bit. He was very dour with me. But, we’ve learnt a valuable lesson today. He’s obviously going to be better on soft (ground) but I’m not going to blame the track at all. The track is in great condition and his action was fine. We just found that he hasn’t got the speed to win over seven (furlongs).”

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