Four-year-old Tavistock mare Flying Mascot added a second Group Three victory to her burgeoning CV when landing the Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The Tom Dabernig-trained mare was the winner of the Gr.3 Tesio Stakes (1600m) in the spring and went on to finish fifth in the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) a week later.
She commenced her autumn campaign with a good fresh-up performance when narrowly beaten into second by Probabeel in the Gr.3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago and went one better on Saturday.
Under regular rider Blaike McDougall, Flying Mascot found herself in an uncustomary role of pacemaker but showed her class to score, comfortably defeating her six rivals with the Cambridge Stud-owned pair of Under My Spell and Kahma Lass filling the minor placings.
Now the winner of five of her 12 starts, Flying Mascot, who races in the colours of Cameron Bennett’s Flying Start Syndications and was roared home by a big on-course supporter group, has plenty of autumn options including potentially chasing a berth in the A$5 million All-Star Mile (1600m).
“This is a great example of syndication. People can get involved and not spend a lot of money,” Dabernig said of the A$25,000 purchase.
“The thrill that it gives everybody and you can really pick up on all of their excitement. It was great.
“I think there is improvement to come off today. She sweated up a bit and I think she’ll be better for the run.
“She was possibly a little bit fresh but being second-up I was purposely quite kind on her after I thought she dug deep at her first-up run so I think getting to a mile, there’s a couple of nice mile races coming up.”
Dabernig was relaxed about chasing an All-Star Mile spot, whether it be by wildcard or targeting the win-and-you’re-in Gr.2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).
“The Matron Stakes (Gr.3, 1600m) for mares is an option and then there’s the Sunline (Gr.2, 1600m) at Moonee Valley. They’re two good races and you never know, we might even consider a back-up in the Blamey (Gr.2, 1600m) to see if we can get her in the All-Star Mile.”
“She’s an in-form mare and I think that’s what the All-Star Mile needs. But, to be honest, if it doesn’t happen we’ve got the spring and she won’t have too busy an autumn. Either way it’ll be a good program for her.
“She’s a good mare.”
Winning Jockey Blaike McDougall said Flying Mascot was a class above her opposition.
“She’s definitely not a leader but she began well in a small field. She was the best horse in the race so we rode her like one,” he said.
“She quickened up ok and she was great late. She’s just furnishing into a really nice mare and she’s going to be a valuable broodmare by the end of this preparation, I think.”
Bred by Ron Finemore, Flying Mascot is by Tavistock 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.
There are 13 yearlings from the final crop of Tavistock at the forthcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales at Karaka, which commences on March 7. – NZ Racing Desk
WINNER: Flying Mascot (NZ) 2017
BREEDING: by Tavistock out of Lucky Mascot by Zabeel
BREEDER: Finemore Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd
RACE: MRC Mannerism S. Gr.3 1400m