She had never won over 1200m before but evergreen mare Mabel Grace made amends for that with a classy winning display in the Miss Andretti Stakes yesterday.

The win gave top trainer Adam Durrant a quinella in the race because pacemaker Beach Express boxed on well to run second after his stable-mate ran past him in the home straight.

The win gave Mabel Grace her fourth listed race in nine wins (from 40 starts) and she has now won over distances ranging from 1200-1800m.

Although she had not won over the journey before yesterday Durrant was quick to point out she had run a handful of seconds, including behind such quality performers as Power Princess, and lumped big weights. 

Mabel Grace had also run second behind Barakey, a winner of 11 consecutive races, over 1100m.

Peter Knuckey showed sound judgement in choosing the chestnut Kendel Star mare over Cavallo Pazzo (third) and rode her in the same fashion by being at Beach Express’ flank for much of the races.

“I thought I had it won on straightening, “Knuckey said. He added that he chose to be on Mabel Grace because he had had a fruitful association with the mare and with Durrant.

Beach Express, a 1000m specialist, who has won six of his eight races over that distance,(from 33 starts) lost no supporters with his gutsy run and will win another race, for owner Jim Goodchild, over the longer sprint journey. He has won one race over 1200m.

BOSS MAN: Champion rider Glen Boss combined with trainer Dan Morton to win the Schweppes-Melvista Stakes (2200m) with Maiden galloper Gold Broker.

Boss was encouraged to take the ride by his racing manager after conceding on paper it appeared that the galloper “did not look like a winner.”

In a tight finish Gold Broker beat Another Holdup (Pat Carbery), by a short head, with Trading Day (Willie White) a long neck away third, (after being sixth on the rails until the concluding stages), in a good Derby run.  

Darren McAuliffe’s Derby pair Rebelson and Express Service finished fourth and 10th respectively.



I couldn’t separate two young stallions, Jay Rooney and Jamie ‘Mabel’ Chadwick, for this week’s sartorial splendour award, named after our august chairman, Ted van Heemst.

The ‘swinging Chad’ (don’t use that expression around Al Gore) was turned out a treat and always performs well in the TVH when Mabel Grace does well on the track.

However Jay went with him, all the way, and celebrated his first win in the TVH after earlier placings.

As for the fillies: Well there were a number of smashers who wandered out of the Goldfish bowl (the Committee lounge) that had been hired by Ausdrill for the day.

My award, in a strong Oaks Fashion Plate, went to the stunning blonde nubile in the hip hugging white mini with lime seams, complete with long polished brown legs!

It took The Doc and The Pillster a couple of races to fully revive me after being exposed to The Smasher! It pays to sit near a retired GP and pharmacist.

I recovered in time for the Oaks to see ‘gorgeous’ Moreish display her legs to advantage.