Welcome back to the winner's circle Miss Maggiebeel
Dec 09, 2015
Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra’s winning bonanza continued when Miss Maggiebeel broke a lengthy winning drought at Wednesday’s Sandown Hillside meeting.
Ellerton and Zahra decided to avoid the strong spring period with their team with the aim campaigning their Flemington-based stable through the off-peak period in late spring and summer.
The duo has notched 20 wins from 78 runners since November 1 with eight of those victories coming from 25 runners in the opening nine days of December.
"It was a frustrating three or four months at the start of the season but things are really going well for the stable,” Zahra said.
That approach has produced enormous dividends as Miss Maggiebeel gave the stable its fifth city winner in as many days in the Follow @WillHIllAUS on Instagram Handicap (1500m).
Ellerton and Zahra tried blinkers and dropped the daughter of Magnus back to Benchmark 64 company for the $35,000 race before Miss Maggiebeel showed when she recorded her first win since January 2014.
Jockey Damian Lane said he thought Miss Maggiebeel would weaken in the straight before the mare rallied to get home by a long neck.
"I thought coming down the dip, she was gone because she hit a bad flat spot,” Lane said.
"I thought she was going to run midfield or something but she dug deep and hit the line really strong.”
Miss Maggiebeel’s win, her third from 23 starts, provided a great thrill to the great team at First Light Racing, who syndicated the five-year-old in conjunction with Ellerton Zahra Racing.
Miss Maggiebeel cost just $13,000 as a yearling in an inspired piece of buying from Simon Zahra. The mare’s latest success took her earnings to more than $189,000.
"Great to get her back in form" Zahra said. "She's done such a great job. “You won't find many yearlings that cost that little having performed to that level so we're all just so lucky to have her."
Lane was also aboard Siding Spring when the promising three-year-old strode to a comfortable win, which was his second straight victory after the son of Starcraft broke his maiden at Pakenham.