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Griffiths returns a winner

Trainer Robbie Griffiths made a triumphant return from brain surgery when his Melbourne Cup Carnival winner Halvorsen scored again down the Flemington straight on Saturday.

The Cranbourne-based Griffiths was having his first day at the races after undergoing surgery for a brain aneurysm in mid-August.

Griffiths was absent from the races throughout the spring period but his business continued as per usual with many concerned participants rallying behind the Australian Trainers' Association president.

Griffiths, with no shortage of supporters alongside, was trackside to witness Halvorsen win his sixth race from 16 starts in the $125,0000 Living Legends Trophy (1100m).

"Racing is such a great family and the amount of well wishes … it took so long to get from the car park to the mounting yard," Griffiths said.

"The amount of support I've had, not just from our owners but everyone …it's been so humbling."

Ridden by Dean Yendall, Halvorsen ($2.70 favourite) defeated Spirit Of Aquada ($15) by 1.25 lengths, with Mystyko ($5.50) a further three-quarters of a length away in third.

"Robbie (Griffiths) said to me not to dig him out of the barriers because he'll work at the wrong end of the race, but I probably overdid it at the start," Yendall said.

"I didn't snag him but I grabbed hold of him at the start and they sort of had three or four lengths on me straight away.

"I didn't panic and let him travel up in behind and then you try and wait till the clocktower but I wasn't sure how well I was going before then so I gave him a bit of a squeeze without going and surprisingly he picked them up quite easily."

Halvorsen will now be prepared for the $160,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year's Day.

Living Legends Trophy, photo finish picture Racing.com

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