Mercurial Lad Spearheads Strong Canberra Results

Mercurial Lad Spearheads Strong Canberra Results


Mercurial Lad winning at Randwick on Saturday spearheaded some strong results for Canberra-trained runners over the weekend.


The Joseph and Jones-trained runner contested the Australian Turf Club Benchmark 78 Handicap (1550m), the final event of the nine race card at Randwick.


From a wide draw, the son of Pendragon broke well for apprentice Sam Weatherley and was taken straight to the front.


While challenged into the straight by the Chris Waller-trained Sparky Lad, Mercurial Lad was able to shake him off and hold the closing Tahsin at bay for a half length win.


“It was a fantastic win,” Stable Representative Zane Jones said.


“Full credit to Sam Weatherley because he isn’t an easy horse to ride.


“Originally our plan wasn’t to lead from the barrier but the horse jumped so well and pulled himself to the front.


“The early sectionals were quite freakish really so for him to grip on against some in-form horses it's a testament to the horse’s toughness.”


The career best win for Mercurial Lad was also the first metropolitan success for the Joseph and Jones since Matt Jones officially joined the partnership as a licensed trainer.


“It was Dad’s first city winner too which made it all that sweeter,” Jones said.


“He’s a hard worker and deserves all the success that comes his way.”


Mercurial Lad has come through the run well and it’s expected the five-year-old will return to Sydney in a fortnight.


“He’s not the soundest horse but I got him out Sunday morning for a pick of grass and it was the best he’s come through a race for some time,” Jones said.


“There are options for him. Rosehill Saturday week (Jan 19) in a BM78 1500m is a suitable target at this stage.


“Provided he comes through that well we’d love to have him in the Bega Cup (1600m) on the 2nd of February.”


The race prior, the Matthew Dale-trained Sei Stella fell just short of making it three straight metropolitan wins when contesting the Benchmark 78 Summer Racing Sprint (1000m).


The daughter of Not A Single Doubt was challenged in front throughout and fought bravely to be beaten just a half length by the Team Hawkes-trained Heart Conquered.