Day At The Track

Daughter of Pacific Fella stakes a firm claim

10:13 AM 06 Feb 2010 NZDT
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Duane Ranger Photo

Four-year-old Mendelico stretched her winning skein to four and further underlined her claims as Australia's top female harness racing pacer when she scored a thrilling win in the $20,000 Angelique Club Cup (2100 metres) at the Moonee Valley farewell meeting.

Starting from outside the second row, the daughter of Pacific Fella was installed as $4.10 favourite in the star-studded lineup.

With John Caldow at the helm, Mendelico, fresh from her win in the Richmond Lass in early January, settled down near the rearof the field.

After an early duel for the lead, polemaker Lady Octavia booted upto keep Very Chic posted in the 'death seat'.

Hooked three-wide at the 1200m mark, Mendelico pressed on to wrest the lead from Lady Octavia with a round to go.

Rounding the home turn, Mendelico stole a march on her rivals and looked to have the race safely in her keeping half-way down the straight.

However, Jazzam (Jodi Quinlan), who received a lovely three-wide trail in the last lap, was switched four wide andmounted a determined late challenge.

In a nail-biting finish, Mendelico clung to a slender lead, prevailing on the line by a headoverJazzam, with Very Chic, who worked overtime throughout the contest, a five-metre third.

The mile rate was a brilliant 1:56.7. The last half was covered in 57.6 seconds and the last quarter in 28.9.

The race proved a triumph for Great Western maestro trainer Peter Manning, who prepared the first and third placegetters.

It was Mendelico's 11th win from 16 tries this season and her 13th from 22 lifetime outings.She has bankrolled $120,323.

The bonny mare was bred and is raced by the Delmenico family of Murrawee, near Swan Hill.

By Peter Wharton

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