Mick Sell has been on a winning run since moving to his new training base in Bendigo and his good form continued with two winners in as many days last week.
Sell’s success rolled on at Geelong last Friday when Jarrod Fry partnered Mamtricol to her second victory, leading every step of the way.
Mamtricol was unplaced from her first nine starts, eight of them on turf tracks.
She improved sharply to run second on the Geelong synthetic track on June 1 at $71, and won her maiden there a fortnight later.
The daughter of Elvstroem has raced exclusively on the Geelong synthetic since, and last Friday scored by a length and a quarter in benchmark 58 grade over 1300 metres as an $11 chance.
Sell said the addition of visors helped Mamtricol last Friday and is confident she can win up to 1600 metres.
The following day at Wangaratta, Sell won with Madam Stryker ($26) in 0-58 grade over 2000 metres.
The win was a significant one for Sell, with new stable apprentice Jess Philpot riding her first winner for the stable.
Settling midfield, the five-year-old relished the heavy conditions.
She has now had three starts on heavy tracks for two wins and a third.
Days don’t get much better than last Saturday for Brent Stanley, who trained winners at three venues, two of them in town.
Most notably, Red Alto ($9.50) defeated eight rivals — all trained by Chris Waller — in the 2400-metre benchmark 88 at Randwick.
Red Alto broke a 364-day drought with the win, his last victory having come at Flemington on the same weekend last year.
Closer to home, Mig Energy ($16) saluted on debut over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley. The son of Redoute’s Choice cost $350,000 and looks to have a nice future.
The third of the stable’s winners came at Wangaratta, where Summerfest ($3 favourite) broke out of maiden grade at start four under the guidance of Linda Meech.
Sitting outside the leader, the mare hung tough for favourite backers in the opening race over 1400 metres.
Three to follow
The field for race four at The Valley last Saturday included three Goldfields horses worth following.
First home over the 1000 metres was the Mick Sell-trained Carlingford, who improved sharply second up for an eye-catching third.
Hot on his heels was Savaju, who returned to more characteristic form for Shaun Dwyer. She was ridden cold but hit the line solidly enough to suggest she could win over further.
The Patrick Starr-trained Diamond Oasis closed late for eighth, only 4.5 lengths off smart winner You’ve Been Had, and will no doubt improve off his first run in seven months.
A handful of Goldfields horses were among the entries this week for the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, Caulfield Guineas and Thousand Guineas.
Brent Stanley has entered last Saturday’s winner Mig Energy for the Cox Plate and Caulfield Guineas, as well as Flemington winner The August. The unraced Mig Air, by Zoustar, is another Caulfield Guineas entrant.
Stanley has a high opinion of Casadiva, who has been entered for the Thousand Guineas.
Queen Guinevere impressed trainer Shane Fliedner enough at Monday’s Cranbourne trials to warrant an entry for the Thousand Guineas.
The unraced daughter of Camelot looks a progressive stayer in the making.
The envelope, please …
On Saturday night the Bendigo Trainers Group will crown its 11th Bendigo Horse of the Year at their annual gala event.
Leading trainers and horses will be recognised across eight categories at the Silks Function Centre.
I will report on all the winners in next week’s column.