Promising mare Mardi will be looking for back to back wins when she steps up in distance in the $85,000 Ranvet Handicap over 1400m at Randwick on Saturday.
Mardi has recorded two wins and two seconds from only four starts and showed her determination at her second run back this preparation when she chased down the leader Miss Tenpins to win the $85,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap over 1200m at Rosehill on January 3.
The Gai Waterhouse trained mare has been tested once over 1400m when second as favourite in a three year old fillies race at Rosehill back in December 2013 but Randwick trackman Nic Ashman is convinced that she is ready to tackle that distance again.
“Mardi went down narrowly when resuming last month before atoning with a narrow win at Rosehill last start,” Ashman wrote in his Sportsman column on Friday.
“On that occasion there was three lengths to the third placegetter and Mardi looked in need of further.”
“She gets that here going up 200m and should settle off the fence, which looks the place to be tomorrow.”
Tommy Berry will again be aboard Mardi and the Group 1 winning jockey has plenty of admiration for the Redoute’s Choice mare.
“She’s a horse that really puts in every time. You watch her the other day, she really put her head down and knuckled into it and got the job done well,” Berry told the Sportsman.
“Her two runs haven’t been picnics for her. She drew wide first-up and had to do a lot of work to get outside the leader then was pressured the whole way by a horse three wide.”
“With that tearaway leader last start she had to chase it too.”
Mardi rounded off her preparation for this week’s assignment with an easy 600m gallop on Thursday morning on the dirt track at Randwick, running 40 secs for the distance and clocking 12.2 secs for the final 200m.
With not a lot of speed in the race, Berry is likely to go forward on Mardi from barrier eight and possibly end up setting the pace or sitting close to the leaders.
Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Mardi the $2.50 favourite for the Ranvet Handicap ahead of the Chris Waller trained Holy Delusions at $6.50 while Amazon, Nisroc and Frill Seeking share the next line of betting at $10.