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Mornington trainer Michael Mehegan was nervous saddling-up his first ever runner in a black-type race on CF Orr Stakes Day but came away with a Group 3 win thanks to the stellar all-the-way effort of Prussian Vixen in the Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes 2017.
The low key horseman had high hopes for the progressive King Of Prussia four-year-old who showed nice improvement again to defeat the fast-finishing favourite Silent Sedition in the $150,000 Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m).
“We’re very happy,” Mehegan said post-win.
“Really proud of the team.
“Three weeks ago [we decided to target this race] when she ran third at Moonee Valley
“We did look at Tassie, but decided to come here after she won here [on January 7].
“This prep, every time we’ve stepped her up she’s improved.”
Closing the CF Orr Stakes Day card at Caulfield on Saturday, the Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes featured a host of classy mares including Andrew Noblet’s returning Group 1 runner-up Silent Sedition.
She did her best work late first-up making lots of ground, but couldn’t quite get there to stop the tiring winner Prussian Vixen who improved on a last start third at Moonee Valley.
“We were pretty confident getting back to level weights,” Mehegan added.
“I’m very happy, just wrapped for everyone.”
Relishing a drop back to set weights on 55kg, she was ridden by regular rider this campaign Jake Noonan who sweated to get down to the light kilos first-up off a suspension.
“It was testing but worth it getting on a good classy mare like her,” Noonan, celebrating his 24th birthday, said.
“She’s in terrific form and every time you raise the bar on her she always steps up.
“It was a classy race today. For her to do all the work and hold them off late…good on her.”
Prussian Vixen ($12) got away perfectly from her gun barrier two draw to take up early running.
She was allowed to roll along and set the pace as Silent Sedition ($2.90) sat fourth-last in running, the field rounded out by the returning Schweppes Oaks winner Abbey Marie and Alaskan Rose.
Once on the straight jockey Dwayne Dunn was peeling out on the in-form Ameristralia ($5) for Team Hawkes who defeated Prussian Vixen last time out.
Silent Sedition was the biggest danger, but the leader held on for the upset result on way to bigger and better things this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“She just keeps on improving,” Mehegan said of his mare.
“She may not be the best bred horse in the country, but she’s tough.”
Get in on the upcoming autumn racing features online now at Ladbrokes.com.au including Winx running in the rescheduled 2017 Apollo Stakes in Sydney on Monday February 13 at $1.80 (Max Bet $25 / T&Cs apply).
2017 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 9 – 11/02/2017
|1||9||PRUSSIAN VIXEN||Michael Mehegan||Jake Noonan||–||2||55kg||$12|
|2||1||SILENT SEDITION||Andrew Noblet||Craig Williams||0.1L||8||59kg||$3F|
|3||10||AMERISTRALIA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||0.6L||10||55kg||$5.50|
|4||3||THAMES COURT||David Brideoake||Mark Zahra||1.6L||11||58kg||$6|
|5||13||WRITTEN ERA||Aaron Purcell||Damian Lane||1.7L||4||55kg||$13|
|6||8||KAYJAY’S JOY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||2.7L||3||55kg||$51|
|7||7||ALASKAN ROSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||2.8L||5||55kg||$26|
|8||2||ABBEY MARIE||Michael Kent||Luke Nolen||3.3L||1||58kg||$11|
|9||5||CHOOSE||Lee & Shannon Hope||Ben E Thompson (a)||3.5L||6||55kg||$21|
|10||6||DENPURR||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4.25L||9||55kg||$14|
|11||12||LITTLE INDIAN||Robbie Laing||Damien Oliver||4.45L||7||55kg||$51|
|–||4||ROCKET COMMANDER||Matthew Dale||Ben Melham||–||0||–||–|
|–||11||JINX||Nikki Burke||Brian Higgins||–||0||–||–|
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