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An all-the-way win by Mickelberg at Warwick Farm on Saturday has saved the mare from being exiled by trainer Gary Portelli.

Her win thrilled Portelli, not least because she is a full-sister to his Group One-winning sprinter Gold Trail, but the victory left punters lamenting.

The mare has already been banished once in her career, joining Portelli after doing her early racing for Chris Waller.

“She is a hard-going mare and if she didn’t do something today, I told the owner it might be time to move her on,” Portelli said.

“She tries to bolt in her trackwork so it’s hard to get a guage on how she’s going but Brenton (Avdulla) rode her superbly.

“I really wanted to get a good win with her because she is a full-sister to Gold Trail.”

Sent out at $41, Mickelberg held off favourite Matignon ($3.10) by three-quarters of a length with Kristy Lee ($4.20) an identical margin in third.

While Mickelberg saved her career, Gold Trail has been retired after several throat operations and muscle problems.

The winner of the 2010 Railway in New Zealand, Gold Trail took his owners Glenn and Lisa Morton to Singapore and England.

“He’s at the owners’ place being a grandfather to all the yearlings and hopefully teaching them how to run fast,” Portelli said.

 
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