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