Kiwi bred mare Flying Mascot turned in one of the performances of the day when winning the Gr.3 Tesio Stakes (1600m) at The Valley, the final event of the card on a dramatic afternoon of racing.
The race was run only minutes after a 50-50 Cox Plate protest hearing, which landed in favour of first-past-the-post State Of Rest.
Ridden by Blaike McDougall, Flying Mascot was travelling like the winner a long way from home and sprouted wings when a gap presented at the top of the straight to win by a touch over four lengths.
The daughter of Tavistock provided now Warrnambool-based trainer Tom Dabernig with his first Group winner since moving away from a training partnership at Lindsay Park.
The four-year-old mare recorded her fourth career victory from nine starts and sports the colours of Cameron Bennett’s Flying Start Syndications.
“That was very special. Certainly in my own right and especially out of Warrnambool. It’s the first Group Three for the new stable and I was thrilled for Flying Start Syndications,” Dabernig said.
“She’s a mare that as a three-year-old was a bit delicate but as a four-year-old mare now she’s really seasoned up very well.
“Blaike McDougall’s ridden a lot of winners for me but a lot of Victorians haven’t probably heard a lot about him. I think they will. He’s a very good rider.
“She had only had one run on a soft track before this. That was her first ever race start but I was happy being Race 10 of the Cox Plate weekend when we drew wide. I thought the fence might give out and we ended up in a good spot.
“It was a little bit tense turning for home from a long way out but when she got clear she really burst through and now with a Group Three win for a Tavistock mare, she’s very valuable.”
Dabernig said he will monitor how the mare comes through the run, with plenty of options including next week’s Gr.1 Empire Rose (1600m) at Flemington.
“She’d have to do particularly well to do that,” he said. “I think at the Sandown Cup meeting at Caulfield there’s a 1600m mares race (Gr.3 Summoned Stakes) there too, to consider.”
Bred by Ron Finemore, Flying Mascot is out of the Zabeel mare Lucky Mascot, a placed daughter of multiple Group Two winner Arletty.
Flying Mascot is a half-sister to stakes winning juvenile Koala Bear. – NZ Racing Desk