After the retirement of his star filly Chance Bye, low-key Kembla Grange trainer Mick Tubman may have another shot at preparing a Group winner with the unraced Mick’s Mantle ready to make their debut at Hawkesbury on Saturday.
Tubman, who had to take out a loan to purchase Snitzel filly Chance Bye for $15,000, hit the big time when she burst onto the racing scene taking out the $250,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) and $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) at her opening two starts in December and January 2009/10.
After going on to take out the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) last year, Chance Bye earned her spot in the esteemed Golden Slipper field but could only manage to finish four lengths away ninth to Crystal Lily.
Chance Bye started five more times after the Slipper but didn’t enter the winner’s circle again and she was eventually retired to serve as a broodmare when she pulled up lame following her last place finish in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) last month.
Now Tubman is hoping to write another fairtytale with two-year-old Manton filly Mick’s Mantle.
Mick’s Mantle will debut in the $70,000 Reavill Farm Inglis Bonus 2YO Handicap (1200m) on Hawkesbury Guineas Day this Saturday, due to be ridden by Chance Bye’s regular jockey Kathy O’Hara.
Tubman and fellow co-owner Jack Knight used bonuses earned from Chance Bye’s exploits on the track to purchase four yearlings at the 2010 Inglis Classic Sale including Mick’s Mantle.
“I’ve got a really good opinion of her,” Tubman said of Mick’s Mantle.
“It will be hard in her first start on a wet track but she’ll be in there punching somewhere.”
Having shown Tubman plenty of promise at home, Mick’s Mantle’s first racetrack appearance was delayed after she injured herself on a walking machine during the spring.
“It took about four months to get her right,” Tubman said.
“But she’s right now and it doesn’t seem to worry her.
“I thought she’d be competitive in all them (juvenile races) but it’s really a blessing in disguise, it held her up a little bit and has given her a bit more time.”
Mick’s Mantle comes into Saturday’s showdown having had three recent hitouts including a blistering eight barrier trail victory at Kembla Grange on March 9.
“She won a jumpout two weeks after her trial and then ran second against older horses last Wednesday,” Tubman said.
The Reavill Farm Inglis Bonus 2YO Handicap also has a $50,000 Inglis bonus on offer for horses nominated for the Inglis race series, which is why Tubman has scheduled it for Mick’s Mantle’s introductory race.
“When she came right I said, ‘that’s the one we’ll go for’,” Tubman said.
“I see her more as an Oaks-type filly.
“She’s not as brilliant as Chicken (Chance Bye), she’s fast, but as a three-year-old I think she’ll be really good.”
There are eight races scheduled for Hawkesbury this Saturday highlights including the $150,000 Rowley Mile (1600m) and the $150,000 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) where last weekend’s James HB Carr Stakes winner Red Tracer seeks their third victory on the trot.