Trainer announces arrival with wins

EARLY SUCCESS: New Bendigo trainer Mick Sell and jockey Jess Philpot with Madam Stryker, who won at Wangaratta last Saturday. Picture: DARREN HOWE
EARLY SUCCESS: New Bendigo trainer Mick Sell and jockey Jess Philpot with Madam Stryker, who won at Wangaratta last Saturday. Picture: DARREN HOWE

MICK Sell has wasted little time settling into his new training base in Bendigo.

The former Kyneton trainer has started the 2018-19 racing season in confident fashion with a pair of winners from his first five starters.

They followed the victory of four-year-old mare River Lee at Geelong on July 31, with his final starter of the previous racing season.

That win and those of Mamtricol on the Geelong synthetic on August 3 and Madam Stryker at Wangaratta last Saturday have all come since his mid-July move from Kyneton to Bendigo.

Sell, who has taken over the stables previously occupied by Gus Philpot, said he could not have wished for a better start to his tenure in Bendigo.

“I’m definitely not complaining,” he said.

“Mamtricol has been very consistent on the Geelong synthetic and Madam Stryker was ridden by young Jessie Philpot and the horse just loves her.

“(Madam Stryker) really appreciated the (3 kilogram) claim and she loves the heavy track as well, which is what she got at Wangaratta.”

Philpot has only recently transferred her apprenticeship to the Sell stable, with the astute trainer saying she had proved a real asset.

Sell is adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to Mamtricol’s next start, but is looking to step Madam Stryker up in distance from her previous 2000m trip.

A fruitful seven days for Sell kicked-off on the Geelong synthetic on July 31 with the maiden win of River Lee.

It was the four-year-old mare’s first start for his new trainer, with his first three runs coming under the guidance of Horsham trainer Paul Preusker.

River Lee was returning from a 20-week spell, with Sell confident she had the ability to develop into a more than handy sprinter after showing some impressive signs in track work.

“The owner of (River Lee) approached me to come down and have a look at a few yearlings and I did, but he told me this horse had been sitting in the paddock, see what you think,” he said

“Two or three weeks later he sent it up to me.”

Sell, who has just over 20 horses currently on the books, is coming off his best season since taking up his trainer’s licence in 2008.

He trained 20 winners and also came close to landing a city winner on three occasions with a trio of minor placings.

The 44-year-old has six city winners in his career, including four in Melbourne and one each in Sydney and Adelaide.

With two winners from just five starters this season, Sell is confident further success is not too far away, starting at Bendigo on Wednesday, where he will saddle up three-year-old filly hard To Come By and five year-old-mare Alejandra.

“I think we have the right horses; we have a nice bunch of horses around us and most of them are fillies and mares,” he said.

He credited his wife Mel, who has stayed behind in Kyneton as the couple’s three children complete their school commitments, as pivotal to the stable’s operation.