Noblet hoping maiden win can kick-start “quirky” Mahlani

Mahlani was able to deliver the goods for Andrew Noblet at Echuca on Thursday. Picture:

KIWI import Mahlani has broken through at the first time of asking for trainer Andrew Noblet, who is expecting the filly to learn a lot from its maiden win at the Echuca Race Club on Thursday.

The two-year-old did it the hard way through stages of the race, but it was able to withstand a strong challenge from the race favourite to return (+2380) at ahead of La Chica Rosa, which delivered (-500) to customers.

Hard Faith closed late, but never challenged the front two to return (-500) at

Noblet said he was happy the horse was able to shake the maiden tag in its first run for the new stable.

“It was a really good win,” Noblet told at the track, following the win.

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“It was the first ever run for me, but she trialled well and we were coming here thinking it wouldn’t be a wasted trip.”

The trainer said he was impressed by the horse’s grittiness after enduring a hard run in transit.

“She was caught a little wide there, but pushed on well into the straight.

“We were a little worried when the favourite came up her inside and started to close, but when it came up alongside she seemed to enjoy the challenge and went to the line.

“It was a great little win, we were super excited about it.”

The win was a complete form reversal for Mahlani, which failed to make an impression on its debut run at Moonee Valley back in March.

The horse finished seventh of 12 runners that day, trailing the winner by just under 10 lengths, but Noblet had faith the filly could turn it around on the second time of asking.

“She’s a quirky thing,” the trainer said.

“At the Valley not a lot of things went her way, then she was switched over to me and we put a bit of time into her.

“It’s been a long-time coming getting her to the second race and obviously the win, she can be a little bit hard to manage at times but has a lot of talent.”

The team came to Echuca optimistic, but with low expectations of an upset win, which means there are no plans in place just yet for the filly.

Noblet believes the camp will target another mid-week race meet before they ask the two-year-old to step up too far in class.

“We’ll look for another mid-weeker I reckon,” he said.

“We’ll have a look at another two and three-year-old fillies race for her, but we’re not exactly sure where that will be yet.

“We are just going to enjoy this one.”