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Mahalo ready to tackle black type assignment

19 November 2017, 2:14 p.m.

Progressive mare Mahalo provided co-trainer Graham Richardson with all the right answers to the test he set her on the weekend when she scored in emphatic style at Tauranga.

Richardson and training partner Gavin Parker are keen to tackle stakes company over the summer months with the lightly raced Darci Brahma mare, but needed evidence she could make the jump to that level.

Mahalo Photo: Trish Dunell

The pair were looking for a dominant performance in Saturday’s rating 85 1200m contest and got just what they were looking for as Mahalo overcame a tardy start and a wide run to defeat her higher rated rivals.

“We’ve always held her in high regard and we felt this season would see her at her best,” said Richardson.

“As a rule, I don’t often race horses out of their grade, but we have been looking at tackling some of the good sprint races around Christmas time with her, so she had to show us she was up to it.

"That was a nice field of handy horses she beat and she did it in good style. We knew there would be plenty of pace on, so I expected her to get back a little but certainly didn’t expect to see her bungle the start like she did.

“I think that makes the effort even better as she has come wide to challenge and showed plenty of heart to hold them off at the finish.”

Richardson, who shares in the ownership of Mahalo with wife Rochelle and friends Kevin and Jane Anderson, outlaid $120,000 to purchase her from the Pencarrow Stud draft at the 2014 Premier Sale at Karaka after she caught his eye during the sale build-up.

“I really liked her when I first saw her and we ended up spending a pretty big sum to buy her that day,” he said.

“Our thinking all along has been to breed from her when she finishes her career on the track, so the goal now is to get some black type for her to help with that when the time comes.”

Richardson indicated the Listed Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie will be the mare’s main target for this campaign.

Prima Park will offer a full brother to Mahalo as Lot 212 during this week’s Ready To Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds at Karaka that starts on Wednesday 22 November. – NZ Racing Desk