‘He’s just a star’: Everest-bound Mazu climbs to 10,000 feat
Mazu got his Everest spot for the next two years during the week but it was a gritty, tough, even dirty win in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) that confirmed his place among the best sprinters in the country at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
On a deteriorating track after another day of rain in Brisbane, Mazu didn’t handle the shifty conditions but claimed a victory he probably wasn’t supposed to in mud-splattered Triple Crown silks.
“I was thinking at the 600, we’re in strife,” jockey Sam Clipperton admitted. “He was chasing a hot speed and was out of his comfort zone. He really wasn’t sure on the surface.
“It is a different heavy track, as well documented, but I just tried to pick him up as best I could and get him as far down the straight on the bridle.”
Mazu ($3.10 fav) again had a change of gear in the straight as he raced to the front perhaps too early and then dug in. Paulele ($11) appeared to have him in the last 100m before a final surge from the son of Maurice gave him a short-head victory. New Zealand mare Entriviere ($7) was another 1½ lengths back in third.
“He’s just a star, this horse. He knows how to win and we’ve got a great rapport with each other,” Clipperton said.
“Even when I was concerned, he was always going to pick up. I just had to have faith in the horse. In the end, I got to the front too early and he was thinking his job is done.
Mazu took his winning streak to six, five of which have come this preparation after he was gelded.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden admitted he was worried in the run but knew in Mazu he had a horse that is a winner.
“He has that ability to absorb the pressure and still be strong at the end. That is why we have got a slot in the Everest, and that is why we are going to be there,” Snowden said.
“It means a lot when you are going through these patches with these horses and you know just how much ability they do have.
“It was all there to see, but we just had to get it out of him.
“We exhausted every opportunity to do that, and they call gelding the ultimate gear change, and that is what it was. Now the owners benefit and they will have this horse for many years to come.”
By Chris Roots – Sydney Morning Herald