Patinack Farm Classic winner Mental will arrive at his Godolphin stables in England a Group 1 winner after turning the tables on smart mare Sea Siren at Flemington today.
Mental is one of seven Peter Snowden trained Darley horses that have been earmarked to join the European arm of world racing operation and showed that he will be up to the best sprinters in England with a gutsy win in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
Stable rider Kerrin McEvoy was able to reverse the placings after finishing second to Sea Siren in the Group 1 $500,000 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 with Mental finishing the stronger to hold off Sea Siren on the line.
“Great effort. He put the writing on the wall at Moonee Valley, There’s wasn’t much in between the two horses and he really bought his A grade game here today. Very pleased result,” Snowden said.
McEvoy kept Jim Cassidy and Sea Siren in his sights and followed the favourite everywhere he went before easing to the outside over the final stages.
“He sweated on the favourite and everywhere Jimmy went he was right beside him. And when Jimmy started to come off the bridle at the 300m we were still going well, I was quietly confident he would run well.”
“But to her credit she dug deep and didn’t give in and he had to work really hard to get the win.”
“It’s going to be his swansong. He delivered for us today and he’s going over there a winner in our best company.”
McEvoy will be sad to see Mental leave for England after notching up another Group 1 win for the Darley team.
“He’s heading overseas and I’m going to be sad to see him go,” McEvoy said.
“Peter and Paul have turned him into a quality sprinter. Pete picked this race out a few months ago. Stepped up to Group 1 class, ran fantastic at Moonee Valley, the Manikato there, just got beaten by Sea Siren, Pete thought the straight race would really suit him. He’s got a great turn of foot the little horse.”
Hugh Bowman steered top Queensland sprinter Buffering towards the grandstand fence from the outside barrier but the five year old seemed to get lost out there on his own and was never in the race at any stage and finished well down the track.