The Michael Mehegan-trained Prussian Vixen has bounced back to form in the Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield to win the Group Three race for the second year in a row.
Prussian Vixen registered her first stakes win in the 1200m race for mares a year ago and was runner-up in the Listed Hareeba Stakes at Mornington during the same campaign.
The five-year-old then had a spring to forget, finishing second last in her three starts and she was sent out a $41 chance for her defence of the Bellmaine Stakes in her return from a spell on Saturday.
After beginning quickly, Prussian Vixen tracked the leader Fraulein Rustie before taking over when the $101 outsider started to tire in the straight.
With birthday boy Jake Noonan aboard, Prussian Vixen was a length in front with 100m to go and despite tiring late held off Flippant ($7) by a half-head with another head to the closing Petition ($4.20).
“We were pretty confident coming into today even though her form was horrendous,” Mehegan, who trains a small team at Mornington, said.
“She just didn’t come up last preparation.
“She was sound and we couldn’t find anything wrong with her and we just put it down to the time of year, she might just be a summer mare.
“It was very frustrating but she just didn’t come up.
“We gave her a spell, brought her back and she’s given us no reason to doubt her this time in. She’s won it back-to-back, so we’re rapt.”