Racing

This Mango is a real sweet deal

Freedman's charge wins in second outing

If you're wondering how the name The Mareeba Mango came about, well, there is a simple explanation.

One of the owners, an Australian named Peter Stevens, just happens to come from Mareeba in Northern Queensland and, yes, he also happens to be a mango farmer.

There you have it.

The other owners are Ben Cleary, Bill Pearce and Doug Tynan.

According to The Mareeba Mango's trainer, Lee Freedman, the horse was known as Batal in Australia, where he was still a maiden after three starts for trainers Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr and Sheikh Khalifa al Maktoum.

"He was raced by Sheikh Khalifa, and I was trying to buy Super Invincible - then known as Asateer - from him at the time. He told me he would sell him as a pair with this other horse I didn't know much about, and now that horse has turned out to be pretty good."

It was a sort of package deal.

The Australian mentor agreed to the terms, and has been well rewarded for digging deeper into his pocket.

Asateer, since renamed Super Invincible, didn't live up to his favourite tag on debut despite showing sparkling form at his barrier trials.

Batal, who has been renamed The Mareeba Mango by his new Australian owners, followed up on an encouraging debut second to score a smashing win next time out in Sunday's $75,000 Distinctive Darci 2018 Stakes Restricted Maiden Division 1 race over 1,200m.

With Ruan Maia again riding him, The Mareeba Mango took advantage of his handier draw in three (the last time he jumped from 14 and was caught wide throughout) to settle in the box-seat behind race-leader Entertainer (Benny Woodworth).

They didn't loaf around up front, with Sky Eye (John Sundradas) serving it to Entertainer, leaving the outcome in little doubt when The Mareeba Mango was peeled out for his run at the top of the straight.

Once the $11 favourite was cued for his run, he just exploded away to leave his rivals by a wide margin of four lengths.

Speedy Missile (Hakim Kamaruddin) ran second, with Entertainer holding on to third place another two lengths away.

The winning time was 1:9.64sec for the 1,200m on the Short Course on turf.

"He ran close to the class record (1:9.56sec)," said Freedman.

"Once he hit the front, he just kept going."

The win on The Mareeba Mango was the middle leg of a riding treble from the bang-in-form Maia, who took the first three races before adding four more to his haul of seven.

HORSE RACING