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By Graham Potter | Saturday, July 31, 2021

Melissa Taylor Racing had every reason to head into the new 2021/22 season with cautious optimism because the last month of the 2020/21 was a very good one for the stable.

Taylor sent out eight runners in the month of July for an admirable return of three individual winners (Kudu. Mob Buster and Vienna Empress) … giving a 37.5% winning strike-rate … two second place finishes (Kudu and Mob Buster) and one third place finish (Ensendana) which all translated into a 75% place strike rate.


KUDU won on July 7 in a BM65 Handicap over 1000m at Eagle Farm.

Kudu ($2.80) jumped from an outside draw and made good ground initially before going back to settle fifth, just worse than midfield, some six lengths off Princess Tinko ($2.60) who was trying to make every post a winning post.

Kudo was faced with a wall of horses on straightening, but he was both game enough and good enough to take a tight split between Princess Tinko and Boom Spender ($6.50) when angled into that run by jockey Adin Thompson and, from there, Kudu maintained a strong gallop to the line which none of his rivals could match.

This was Kudu’s second win from his last three starts and he would round off his three-year-old career with another second place over 1200m on July 21 at Eagle Farm to take his overall record to two wins and two runner-up finishes from ten starts.

MOB BUSTER won on July 21 in a BM70 over 1400m at Eagle Farm.

Mob Buster, a $6 chance, was ridden patiently here by Jimmy Orman who bided his time towards the rear of the field early on, some six lengths off the frontrunning $1.45 favourite Kingston’s Here. Saving ground on the turn helped improve Mob Buster’s position up to third place and now only three lengths off Kingston’s Here on straightening, and he steadily built up momentum.

Kingston’s here was gone inside the final and Jetty ($11) and Little Miss Pixie ($17), who had both raced into contention down the centre of the track, were the runners that Mob Buster had to peg back when it mattered most and he did just that to go on to win by a one length margin.

The son of Spill The Beans would add another second place to his credit before season’s end to take his record since having his first run for the Taylor yard to an impressive three wins, two seconds and a third in only seven starts for the stable.

That third placing was arguably more notable as any other result as it came in the Group 3 Gunsynd behind the very smart Ayrton, who was claiming his fourth win from only five starts, and Ellsberg, who was already a winner of the Listed South Pacific Classic at Randwick.

VIENNA EXPRESS won on July 25 in a QTIS Two-Year-Old Fillies Maiden Plate over 1000m.

The number one barrier draw certainly played to the advantage of Vienna Express here as she was well away and got the run of the race just off the speed in fourth position on the inside.

Make that second place on straightening and jockey Luke Tarrant wasted little time in putting Vienna Express’s inside run to even more use, as he quickly sent Vienna Express up to tackle the leader Top Bird ($9.50).

Just as quickly, Vienna Express won that battle, but the race was far from over. Vienna Empress was in front now but under intense pressure from Sooblond ($9) with all of 300m left to run. Sooblond just kept coming, but Vienna Express kept finding just long enough to prevail in the closest of finishes which saw the Taylor runner get home by a diminishing 0.10 lengths.

This win was a just reward for Vienna Empress’s consistency as she built up nicely to her first success with a fourth place (when 1.60 lengths behind the winner) and a second place (when just touched off by 0.10 lengths) in her two starts leading into this contest.

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Adin Thompson and Dale Smith looking very happy after Kudu's win on July 7 (see pic below)
Adin Thompson and Dale Smith looking very happy after Kudu's win on July 7 (see pic below)
Mob Buster ... in the winners' enclosure ...
Mob Buster ... in the winners' enclosure ...
... and on his way back to scale after his win on July 21
... and on his way back to scale after his win on July 21
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