John Sadler praised the ride of apprentice Patrick Moloney as Marli Magic raced to a city win at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
And Sadler said it was a thrill for him to see Moloney partner the mare to victory, highlighting a long connection between the two families.
“My mother, who is actually here today, she’s 107 and she played piano for Patrick’s grandfather’s wedding,” Sadler said.
Moloney hails from a famous racing family, with his grandfather Jim the man who prepared champion sprinter Vain.
Marli Magic, the $3.70 favourite, had the inside barrier in Saturday’s 1600m benchmark race for fillies and mares but Sadler was keen for Moloney to find a position one off the fence if possible.
After beginning well, Moloney was able to find a spot just behind the lead and one off the fence before the mare hit the front in the straight.
Arena Rock ($4.20), chasing her third straight win, challenged on the outside but in the end a 6kg difference in weights was the telling factor as Marli Magic held on to score by a short neck with 1-1/4 lengths to Hot Ruby ($12) third.
“The second horse did a big job under the circumstances,” Sadler admitted.
“But Marli Magic was well ridden. We asked him to do that if he could but it was a bit of an ask from barrier one.
“He had it done within the first 100 metres and it was a really good effort.
“I’ve given him (Moloney) quite a few rides and he hasn’t had a lot of luck but it was only a matter of time.”
Marli Magic notched the fourth win of her career and her first on a city track.