Win boosts Mirabelli’s spirits

Salted Caramel (Sam Collett) recording a decisive maiden win at Matamata yesterday. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Salted Caramel (Sam Collett) recording a decisive maiden win at Matamata yesterday. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Salted Caramel put some sunlight into what started off as a dark day for Cambridge trainer Paul Mirabelli yesterday.

The Cambridge trainer suffered the loss of Salted Caramel’s paddock mate, a two-year-old Showcasing filly, who was found dead in her paddock yesterday morning.

“She was to go to the trials on Tuesday,” said Mirabelli, who was shocked by the death.

However, Salted Caramel, a Swiss Ace three-year-old filly who had earned only $550 from a debut fourth in six previous starts, lifted Mirabelli’s spirits when kicking on strongly to record a decisive win in the Don Griffiths Trenching Ltd 1200.

Ridden by Sam Collett, Salted Caramel bounced out to lead then settled into the trail when headed by Saucy Mary after 200 metres. She was again in front on straightening for the run home and went on to win by two and a half lengths from Warner.

Salted Caramel was racing for the first time in a tongue control bit, side winkers and cheek burrs and that change of gear was partly responsible for her reversal of form.

“She’s been tough,” said Mirabelli. And Collett was quick to agree.

“She’s got a bit of ability but trying to get her mentally right has been hard,” said Collett. “She won at the Waipa trials (earlier this month) and maybe that gave her a bit of confidence.”

Salted Caramel’s win took Collett within a couple of wins of her goal for the season.

Collett’s best tally was 53 wins in her second season of riding (2007-08) and she rode 52 winners last season, the same total she reached with Salted Caramel’s success.

“I want to beat 53 if I can and hopefully that will happen,” she said.