Mabeel on track for Thorndon

Mabeel (Sam Spratt) racing away with the Anniversary Handicap at Trentham today.

Mabeel (Sam Spratt) racing away with the Anniversary Handicap at Trentham today.

The training skills of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have won over Mabeel, who has been anything but a straight forward character.

The Cambridge duo has been able to rein in the headstrong individual, who as a five-year-old is promising to realise his potential at the top level.

Mabeel was on trial in today’s Gr. 3 Tui Backing A Winner Since 1889 Anniversary Handicap for a start in the Gr. 1 Thorndon Mile and that now looks an attractive option.

The five-year-old was tackling 1600 metres for the first time and he proved his versatility with a sterling performance that took his record to five wins from nine appearances.

“He was awesome and dropped the bit nicely. It was a push button ride,” said successful jockey Sam Spratt.

Mabeel sat on the leader’s quarters to the turn before he hit the front 350 metres out and forged clear to leave Seize The Moment in his wake with Mae West taking third ahead of Flavigny.

“On a better track he will really be able to bounce off it – he’s a very smart horse,” said Spratt.

Mabeel is raced by prominent Macau-based owner Deborah Ho, whose New Zealand thoroughbred interests are managed by Cherry Taylor who with husband Brent operates Cambridge’s Trelawney Stud.

“This is such a big thrill,” said Taylor. “I’ve been long-time friends with Deborah and have been managing her horses for 30 years. Trent and Natalie have done a great job. He hasn’t been the easiest horse to train.”

– NZ Racing Desk.