Mantra Lad’s 2009 Group 2 Sale Cup

Champion Mantra Lad overcame an imperfect preparation to snare the Group 2 Sale Cup on Boxing Day.

The -trained superstar had what looked to be a comfortable lead for much of the 650 metres race, but he had to hold off a heroic late challenge from Next Top Model before claiming the $50,000 first prize by just three quarters of a length. The win catapulted Mantra Lad’s career stake earnings up to $397,365.

“It was a race against time to get him right for the final. He injured his calf in his heat win six days earlier so I couldn’t exercise him at all during the week as he needed rest. Ideally I like to give him a gallop in between races, and without that gallop he was a bit underdone…but his heart got him over the line”, said Mantra Lad’s trainer Graeme Jose, who lives in the Victorian town of Catani.

Most punters thought Mantra Lad ($1.80) was unbeatable following his recorded breaking lead up run an extraordinary 36.71 followed by his best of the night heat win in 37.01, a performance also under the old record.

Arvo’s Sphinx & Mickie Keato made the early pace with sections of 6.14, 16.11 and 25.05 Mantra Lad then took over with Next Top Model ($4.00) in hot pursuit. However she cost herself some ground on the home turn by racing wide on the track and perhaps the margin would have been closer, given the time was another super run of 36.89 the runner-up’s performance was sensational. Smokin’ Ichiban ($10.30) was four and half lengths back third.

Mantra Lad has now had 52 starts for 24 wins and 16 placings and he is likely to race for at least the next few months before retiring to stud. He will next be set for the heats of the $50,000 to-the winner Association Cup in Sydney in January, where he gets a chance to step closer to Rapid Journey’s all-time Australian record of $530,995, which was set in 1998.

After the placed runners the field finished in the following order 4th Mickie Keato ($20.40), 5th Shadow Boxer ($7.50), 6th Cho Chang ($20.40) 7th Pure City ($32.10) and Arvo’s Sphinx ($28.30).

Mantra Lad is raced by the Martin & he is a Red Fawn dog whelped July 2006 by Pure Octane from Al Fresco (Royal Pilgrim x Prize Dancer). Mantra Lad has won 24 of his 52 starts and has been placed on 16 occasions and with the $50,000 first prize for the Sale Cup it took his current stake earnings to $397,365.

The seemingly bold move in 2001 to run the Sale Cup over the 630m journey, with a first prize of $20,000, produced an outstanding result with brilliant front running stayer, Bentley Babe, etching her name on the Cup Honour role.

Again in 2003 a major track restructure unveiled a brand new circuit on April 10th extensive work had been carried out after it closed in January. Under the guidance of track designer Brian Barrington Sale had an extreme makeover, with the new distances becoming 440, 520 and 650 metres. The track was also widened to 7 metres, with both straights being realigned.

The Cup this year became the richest country cup in Australia with a first prize of $50,000 and the club is looking forward to next year when the race becomes the first to assume Group 1 status.

The Cup has been won by some great champions and listed below is the full honour roll as we know it.

Sale Cup Honour Roll

  • 1968 Unknown
  • 1969 Unknown
  • 1970 Unknown
  • 1971 Stripper Sam
  • 1972 Midnight Avon
  • 1973 Rerod
  • 1974 Rebel Rena
  • 1975 Shikar
  • 1976 Dargaville
  • 1977 Daalko Boy
  • 1978 Cascilla’s Lad
  • 1979 Newmore’s Heart
  • 1980 Bushy Prince
  • 1981 Forceful Lad
  • 1982 Charcia
  • 1983 Colinda Flyer
  • 1984 Chariot Supreme
  • 1985 Johnny Caprice
  • 1986 Top Shroud
  • 1987 Quick Royal
  • 1988 Blackman Ray
  • 1989 Mr Chatters
  • 1990 Chief Magundi
  • 1991 Malawi’s Prince
  • 1992 Premier Pete
  • 1993 Linebacker
  • 1994 Jamb Kid
  • 1995
  • 1996 Wylie Boy
  • 1997 Shannen’s Storm
  • 1998 Awesome Assassin
  • 1999 Brookside Red
  • 2000 Vino Veritas
  • 2001 Bentley Babe
  • 2002 Beljay Velvet
  • 2003 Draino
  • 2004 Arvo’s Junior
  • 2005 Hercules
  • 2006
  • 2007 Miss Brook
  • 2008 Vintage Octane
  • 2009 Mantra Lad
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