Former Australian sprinter Mental has taken like a duck to water to international racing with a strong win in the Group 3 2013 Al Shindagha Sprint (1200m) in Dubai.
Formerly part of the Darley operation headed by Peter Snowden, like many of their quality gallopers, he was sent to race as part of Godolphin’s international team.
It was the son of Lonhro’s first start outside of Australia and his first under new trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Mental showed no trouble adapting to the all-weather surface at Meydan, winning by a length from Kavanagh and Krypton Factor.
It was a particularly impressive performance given the four-year-old was carrying 59.5kg, 2.5kg more than all of his 13 rivals.
Prior to his departure overseas, Mental was considered to be one of Australia’s most promising sprinters, with his biggest result coming in his final start.
On that occasion he defeated a hot field of sprinters to claim the $1 million Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) from Sea Siren and Hallowell Belle.
He has won more than $1.1 million in prizemoney and boasts an outstanding record of eight wins from 13 starts.
Other key performances in Australia included winning the Listed Daybreak Lover and the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at the Brisbane Winter Carnival and running second in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes during the spring.
Another former Darley runner who was transferred to Dubai from Australia following the spring is Free Wheeling.
The Ad Valorem entire ran third in his debut at Meydan in January 31. He won three of 14 starts in Australia including the Group 2 Champagne Classic at the 2011 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
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