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By Jack Petley | Friday, November 6, 2020

It was surely a Red Letter Day for trainers Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes. That outstanding filly Personal gave then their first Gr1 win since Ben's famous father, David, left the group and headed off for another crack at the lucrative Hong Kong racing scene.

But it was heart in the mouth moments for the pair as Montifilia and Salto Angel skipped clear and were fighting a dogged battle in front 200m out. At that stage Damien Oliver, on Personal, was not sure of success. “She still had ground to make up and it took a time for her to hit top gear, but when she did I knew then she would gather them in. That's a box ticked," said an elated Ben Hayes noting that was supremely pleased that Oliver was the winning rider having known him since he was a "little fella."

Personal has now won $1.1m in stake-money so she has well and truly repaid the $640,000 that Coolmore's Tom Magnier shelled out for her at an Inglis Sale in Sydney. Her worth is so much more as she also has placings in the Wakeful, Blue Diamond and 1000 Guineas.

While on Inglis, that was also a strong win by the sale graduate Rocha Clock, by Pierro, for John O'Shea. That was her fifth win from 11 starts and she was taken out of a Coolmore draft for $200,000 and has now won more than $350,000.

On the card also Kiwi Brett Scott gained a win with Irish Flame, formerly trained by his old mate John Wheeler at New Plymouth. The son of Zed was transferred to Scott's yard after he had won a trial late in June and the six-time NZ winner has now had seven starts for Scott for two wins and four placings.

A further success for a NZ bred was the former Kiwi Mongolian Marshall in the Kyneton Cup in a hard fought battle with Bartholomeu Dias. Mongolian Marshall, trained by Stuart Gower, gained the win by a mere short head and it was his first win since 2018. Gower said he would now aim the son of High Chaparral at the $500,000 Ballarat Cup later this month and them, he said, he would rest the stayer until the spring.

Previously Mongolian Marshall was in the Baker-Forsman yard with his best win being the Waikato Gold Cup. He was bred by Cambridge Stud and sold for $220,000 as a yearling and he now has gained six wins and $350,000 plus in stake-money.

Tofane is one of several Everest runners who will contest the Darley Spring Classic tomorrow and Mike Moroney reported that the mare came out of the Sydney race with a black eye and pulled up with a breathing issue. "We put it down to her swallowing some dirt during the race," said the Kiwi. The mare, who is at $14 in the market at present, will have a gear change tomorrow, a tongue tie and she will have a new rider, Cup winning jockey Jye McNeil, with regular Victorian rider Dwayne Dunn on the injured list.

The Godolphin sprinter Bivouac holds favouritism for the big race tomorrow at $3.70 with Glen Boss to ride for James Cummings and then in the market, $4 Nature Strip (Hugh Bowman), $7 Libertini (Damien Oliver), $8.50 Santa Anna Lane, $10 Zoutori, $11 Hey Doc.

Arcadia Queen heads the market for the Mackinnon Stakes at $3.20, then $4.80 the Metropolitan Handicap winner Mirage Dancer for the Busuttin-Young yard and after him the grand mare Melody Belle, who is trained by Jamie Richards, at $5 with McNeil engaged.

Richards will be going for a Trans-Tasman double as he will saddle up the favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, the outstanding three-year-old Need I Say More, winner of four of his five starts for the Matamata stable … and only fourth the other time, in the Hawkes Bay Guineas, when he had little luck in the running. He will be ridden by Opie Bosson who has a wonderful record in the Classic having been successful already seven times.

Richards said that he would have the Need I Say More race handy. "He will have to go forward from his wide gate and he should be able to control the race outside the leader," and he added, “the only worry of the 1600 metres but he did run out 1400 metres at Te Rapa recently very strongly.”

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