Gwenda Markwell is hoping to back-up maiden winner Mandylion in the Kembla Grange Classic after the filly sidestepped her home track for success at Warwick Farm.
Markwell was reluctant to bring Mandylion to Sydney on Wednesday but long-term supporter and owner Ross Williams convinced the trainer the TAB Handicap (1600m) was a wiser option than a Maiden Handicap over 1400m on Tuesday.
“I baulked, I like my home track, but Ross was right,” she said.
Markwell now has to press Williams to enter the three-year-old in next Friday’s Group Three Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) providing Mandylion ($21) recovers from her two-length victory.
“I’d love to if she comes out of it good,” she said.
Markwell won the Kembla Grange Classic with La Nikita in 2004 and three years later Miss Pageantry finished runner-up to Hot Danish.
Mandylion was never considered a Kembla Grange Classic candidate when she joined Markwell’s operation.
“When we gave her her first jump-out and she climbed I thought ‘is this filly any good or not’. This is certainly a big improvement.”
Mandylion crossed to the front with Tye Angland after jumping from barrier 10 and never relinquished the lead before breaking her maiden at the second attempt.
Just Gorgeous ($21) led the chasers and Smiling Manolito ($5) was a half-head back in third.
Angland, who also saluted on winning debutant Roosevelt and Who Is Game, said there was plenty of scope for improvement.
“She worked with me a little but she’s still got a little bit of relaxing to do,” he said.
Angland was not as comfortable aboard Roosevelt ($12) as the Godolphin colt was challenged late in the Ranvet Farewells TD Handicap (1100m).
He clung on to win by a half-neck from Lilith ($7.50) while Momentum Factor ($13) was a half-head third.
“He just didn’t know how to put them away. I felt as if I was walking late,” Angland said.
Apprentice Rachel King recorded a memorable win on unbeaten Godolphin three-year-old colt Isaurian in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1000m), her first ride for the stable.
“I worked for James when I first came over to Australia so it’s great to get a winner for him, especially in these colours,” she said.