Airborne Mascot Flies in the Mannerism

Flying Mascot (NZ) ridden by Blaike McDougall returns to the mounting yard after winning the Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

Punters breathed a sigh of relief race two at Caulfield on Saturday, as the odds-on Flying Mascot proved too good in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m).

Trained by Tom Dabernig, the four-year-old mare was able to lead all of the way under Blaike McDougall in the $200,000 event, beating home Under My Spell and Kahma Lass.

The daughter of Tavistock was dominant at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day last year, before running fifth in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.

In the mare’s first-up run, she was only just run down by Probabeel in the Bellmaine Stakes at this track over 1200m, so punters grabbed a hold of that form reference and backed her right up until jump time.

With an All Star Mile berth potentially on the cards via a Wild Card, Dabernig doesn’t want to put all of his eggs into that basket just yet.

“I think there’s improvement to come off today,” Dabernig said post-race on

“She sweated up a bit, and I think she’ll be better for the run. She was possibly a little bit fresh, but I think second-up, I purposely was quite kind on her after I thought that she dug deep in her first-up run.

“I think getting to a mile and then there’s a couple of nice mile races coming up; there’s one at Flemington called the Matron, which is mares, then obviously there’s one at Moonee Valley which is called the Sunline – so they’re two good races.

“You never know, we might even consider a back-up in the Blamey to see if we can get into the All-Star Mile yet.”

Flying Mascot narrowly missed out on a spot in the Top 10 for the All Star Mile Leaderboard, despite her large group of owners, so the winning trainer made a bit of a case to Racing Victoria to consider his Group 3 winner for a Wild Card.

“Well she’s an in-form horse and I think that’s what the race needs,” he said.

“To be honest, if it doesn’t happen, we’ve got the spring and she won’t have too busy an autumn and get a spell, so either way, it’ll be a good program for her. She’s a good mare.”

After today’s win, Flying Mascot is into $17 for the $5 million All Star Mile, which is to be held at Flemington on March 19.

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