Gallops - News

Perfect five sets Mihaul up for spring features

  • Sat, 05 May 2018
  • Dennis Ryan
Mihaul (Leith Innes) makes it five from five with another impressive win at Te Rapa today.

Mihaul (Leith Innes) makes it five from five with another impressive win at Te Rapa today.

Having ticked every box with five wins from as many starts, Mihaul has given his connections every confidence to now be looking at spring feature racing.

The handsome Iffraaj gelding signed off his four-year-old season with another impressive display in the Team Wealleans 1200, coming from behind the pace to collar the pacemaker Akoya and race away for victory by nearly two lengths.

Mihaul began his career with Allan Sharrock, winning his first two starts for the New Plymouth trainer but then having his career curtailed by knee and hoof issues. Following surgery to remove bone chips from both knees, he was given a long spell and then the decision was made to transfer him to Waiuku beach trainers Moira and Kieran Murdoch.

Mihaul made a winning return at Matamata in late March, followed up with another smart performance at Te Rapa three weeks ago and today was even more impressive as Leith Innes brought him through the inside to win as he liked.

“He’s told us all we need to know,” commented Moira Murdoch. “He can go out now and we’ll set him for the big races in the spring.”

Mihaul is owned by Karen Stanley, whose husband Ron was a part-owner of the former star Sharrock-trained galloper Wahid.

“I bought him as a yearling at Karaka (for $40,000) and when I got home I told Karen I had a present for her,” Ron Stanley told www.theinformant.co.nz. “It’s not been easy having to wait so long but right now we’re having a ball.

“Moira has done a brilliant job, so we can’t wait for the spring when we’ll hopefully be able to have a crack at Kawi,” he added in a playful reference to Sharrock’s weight-for-age star.

Innes described Mihaul as the real deal following today’s third win from as many starts on him. “Don’t worry, he’s top class,” Innes said affirmatively. “He felt awesome on that track, which is near enough to perfect.

“He travelled up well and the only worry I had was when he came off the bit across the top, but he came back up under me and then it was only a matter of asking him to go when I wanted to.”