Day At The Track

Mendelico wins George Johnson

10:30 PM 28 Dec 2009 NZDT
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Mendelico and John Caldow Mendelico strolls to easy win in
Mendelico and John Caldow - after impressive George Johnson win
Mendelico strolls to easy win in - in $50,000 George Johnson

Quality pacing mare Mendelico completed her harness racing mission in Tasmania with a spectacular win in the $50,000 George Johnson over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. The four-year-old mare was expected to lead from gate three and she delivered with consummate ease but it was the way she finished off that left her rivals in her wake.

When driver John Caldow released his grip on the reins 500 metres from home she put the result beyond doubt.

Mendelico (Pacific Fella-Mini Maverick) powered home to hit the line almost seven metres clear of the well-tried Gilt Bromac with outsider Lady Octavia about six metres astern.

Trainer Peter Manning described the mare's performance as "brilliant".

"This mare has come a long way I such a short time and to do what she did to this field tonight is testament to her ability," Manning said.

Mendelico won two and was placed twice from only four starts last season and this season she has excelled wining nine from 14 and placed in all but one other outing.

"She's an M4 now so that's a fair effort considering she was a C0 at the start of the season,' he said.

Mendelico went into the George Johnson on the back of a similar win in the Mother of Pearl in Launceston the previous Sunday.

Part owner Harvey Delmenico was elated after the win.

"I was lucky enough to have won this race (George Johnson) two years ago with this mare's half-sister No More Trouble (x Troublemaker) but to come back and win another one is quite amazing because this race is one of the most sought after mare's features ion the national calendar," Delmenico said.

"What makes it great is that we won the race she was set for and that's always a big bonus in this game," he said.

Mendelico had not won beyond 2200 metres and there were some sceptics who were predicting the mare might struggle at the business end of the trip (2579m).

But those few were left to eat their words when the mare treated the extra distance and her rivals with sheer contempt.

Manning said Mendelico would return to his stables at Great Western in Victoria for a short break and then be aimed at the four-year-old sires stakes series in her home state.

Peter STAPLES

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