Mahogany too good for Eileen Cliggott field
MAHOGANY AGAIN proved himself head and shoulders above middle-distance runners, registering a two-and-three-quarter length win in the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy, allowing runner-up SHE’S MY DESTINY 12lb.
The routine win marked MAHOGANY’s third victory in his last four starts and 15th in 22 outings, following a romp in the Ian Levy Cup on December 31.
Burdened with topweight 126lb in the graded stakes/open allowance event, MAHOGANY tracked and skipped away from SHE’S MY DESTINY a furlong and a half out to clock 1:19.2 after being given reminders off the home turn by Dane Dawkins.
Since returning from a seven-month break last April, MAHOGANY has won six races from 10 starts, outclassing rivals from five and a half to eight and a half furlongs, including turning the tables on December’s Mouttet Mile-winner, EXCESSIVE FORCE, who finished third in the Ian Levy Cup.
Robert Halledeen, stable rider for champion trainer Jason DaCosta, rode three winners including two for his barn – SIR JOHN and OLDE WHARF – after opening the 10-race card astride SELECT ME for Patrick Lynch.
Five-time champion jockey Trevor Simpson and Aaron Chatrie rode two-timers. Simpson won back-to-back races aboard SALUTE THE DEPUTY and AWESOME ANTHONY in the third and fourth events, respectively.
Chatrie booted home a double, SENSATIONAL STORM and CLASSICAL ORB, breaking a lengthy drought for Collin Blair, who saddled both winners.
Racing continues this afternoon with a nine-race card set to run off at noon.