Mirabelli’s stable firing up

Local trainer Paul Mirabelli completed a double in five days when being part of a successful day for Cambridge stables at Ruakaka today.

Horses from the Cambridge centre won half the eight-race programme with Mirabelli taking the fifth event, the Lion Red 1600, with Berg En Dal, who was having her fourth start, while Silver Minx, Sardaaj and Listowel were the other Cambridge winners at the meeting.

Berg En Dal had been a two-year-old trials winner at Cambridge in December 2012 and her next appearance on a racetrack was in Australia, where she finished last of six over 1005 metres at Werribee last January.

Returning to New Zealand, Berg En Dal had a trial last July then made her New Zealand debut with a sixth at Ruakaka the following month before an encouraging third behind Packing Chaparral over 1600 metres at Te Rapa last month.

Rory Hutchings has been aboard Berg En Dal in each of her New Zealand starts and he was in the saddle again today when she scored a head win over Fiamette.

Berg En Dal is raced by Des Hawkins and was bred by the Hawkins family’s Llanhennock Trust, of Wentwood Grange on the outskirts of Cambridge. The Hawkins family is also connected to Hannah Mary, who credited Mirabelli with his first win for the season when taking the Estate Church Bay 1200 at Ellerslie last Saturday.

Mirabelli races Hannah Mary on lease from Wentwood Grange with the intention of eventually developing her into a stayer. But Hannah Mary has caused Mirabelli to rethink his plans with her, having picked up each of her three wins for him as a sprinter.

Hannah Mary cleared maiden ranks at Te Teko over 1200 metres last January, then won again on the course over 1400 last March before her fresh-up victory over 1200 last weekend.

Mirabelli is obviously delighted with the form shown by Berg En Dal and Hannah Mary and is also pleased with the performance of second-upper Big Dreamer when fourth to the very smart Avisto in the Listed Allied Workforce Soliloquy Stakes last weekend. Big Dreamer had also finished fourth on debut at Te Rapa and she did well managing the big step up in company.

Ben Foote, fresh from being the recipient of the Alan Pringle Memorial Leading Jumps Trainer Award at the Cambridge awards evening last Monday, started today’s Ruakaka meeting off in good fashion when Silver Minx took the first event, the Aussie Butcher 2100 in the hands of the in-form apprentice Lee Magorrian.

Silver Minx, who had been placed once in 12 previous starts, is owned by John and Shirley Blair, the Ohaupo farming couple which also race Foote’s Great Northern Steeplechase winner Amanood Lad, who picked up the Hautapu Veterinary Clinic Leading Jumper Award at the Cambridge function for his deeds last season.

Another Cambridge trainer, Stephen Marsh, chimed in with a convincing victory in the second event today with Sardaaj, while Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young completed a good day for Cambridge stables when taking the last event with Listowel, who capped her third successive trip to Ruakaka.

Listowel, a three-year-old daughter of Darci Brahma, had been a trials winner before coming up against the last season’s top two-year-old Vespa on debut at Trentham last December. Her three starts this season (all at Ruakaka) include a second to Sierra Beel on August 13.