IT’S been a racing year of many highs for Mick Sell, with its pinnacle arriving at Flemington on Saturday.
The Bendigo trainer broke through for a win at racing headquarters with the in-form seven-year-old Penny To Sell.
The tenacious mare’s win in the 1600m benchmark 84 gave Sell his 12th winner for the 2018-19 season and 13th overall since transferring his stable to Bendigo from Kyneton in mid-July.
A $55,000 first prize haul boosted the Penny To Sell’s career stakes earnings to $287,076.
The mare settled at the rare of the field, but made up a stack of ground from the 800-400m to hit the front a long way out, but gallantly held on for a tough win.
Winning jockey Craig Robertson praised trainer Sell and wife Mel’s faith and belief in the mare and himself.
“They have been supporters of mine for a long time and to repay them with a city winner like this on a Saturday is fantastic,” he said.
“And with a mare like this, she is just so tough; she just keeps trying. She’s a little star for us.
“The last two times here (at Flemington) she has been close, (but) I don’t think things have been suiting her.
“I said to Mick after last week, ‘I am riding her quiet no matter what’.
“We did that, but I was a little concerned I might have pushed the button a little too soon, but she got me there because she is really tough.”
The win continued a productive partnership between trainer and jockey, with the pair having combined for 18 career wins.
It was the mare’s third win from seven starts this campaign, which started victoriously at Bendigo back in October, when the seven-year-old saluted at odds of 150-1.
READ MORE – Shock 150-1 win for Penny To Sell
Her win haul has included a victory in the $45,000 Dunkeld Cup in November, which was followed by a second at Moonee Valley behind the David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Shokora, who finished sixth in Saturday’s race.
Penny To Sell has now won 10 races from 55 starts, with 12 minor placings.
The win gave Sell two winners in seven days following Raid the Cabinet’s win the previous weekend at Bendigo.