Mumma Mia, a star is born

Dylan Gibbons guided the Matthew Dale-trained Martini Mumma to a comfortable win in the Highway Handicap at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Image: Bradley Photos.

The hype around Martini Mumma appears well-founded following the three-year-old’s dominant win in the 1100m Class 3 Highway Handicap at Rosehill Gardens.

Trained by Matthew Dale, the grey filly had Dylan Gibbons in the saddle when taking on a stacked Highway that better resembled a Kosciuszko.

The frantic sprint was led by the Mack Griffith-trained Compelling Truth (Nash Rawiller, $6) and the Paul Messara-trained Perennial (Aaron Bullock, $4), with Martini Mumma getting a good run behind the early leaders. 

After turning for home, the Goulburn galloper showed an excellent turn of foot and quickly put a gap on the field.

Racing in her red silks with white love hearts, Martini Mumma cruised to a two-and-a-half-length win from the Todd Howlett-trained Tanglewood (Josh Parr, $6). 

Hanging on gamely for third was the Brett Robb-trained Wilbury (Sam Clipperton, $18).

A two-time winner over 1000m heading to Sydney, Martini Mumma was an impressive five-length maiden winner at Wagga on March 5 ahead of her six-length Benchmark 58 Handicap victory at Goulburn on March 24. 

Dale admitted it was a big step up at Rosehill Gardens, and he was thrilled to see the Pariah filly win as well as she did. 

“We came here today, and I said to the owners that this is a big test, and we’re throwing her in the deep end,” Dale said. 

“She is still extremely raw, and I said if she can win this, she justifies a crack at Stakes grade.

“That was really impressive there today; that was as strong a Highway I’ve contested.

“The way she did it, getting behind them, she settled, tracked up, bumped her way out; she probably jumped three levels today.”

A work in progress, Dale has seemingly harnessed the filly’s raw ability, explaining that she continues to mature and improve. 

“She’s always been an extremely raw filly and probably pulls harder than any horse in the stable. She really does pull hard day in and day out, so she takes a bit of management, but her race craft has improved and improved,” he said. 

“It was only two starts ago that she wobbled about in a maiden, and last start, she wanted to lay in when she hit the front in a (Benchmark) 58 at Goulburn. Today, she was ten out of ten with race craft and won like that.”
Raced by the Love Racing team, Dale said connections had been patient with Martini Mumma, who rose to the occasion. 

“Well done to the Love family who race her and bred her, and James Harron and his team; they have been big supporters of mine and they’ve always had faith in this filly,” Dale said. 

“She’s taken a bit of management, which is why she is getting to the races a bit later in the peace, but coming up here today, I thought she may be a little bit raw, and it may have come a bit quick for her, but when I saw her in the parade and again behind the barriers, she handled it beautifully, and she’s really come on.”

Dale will race Martini Mumma at Scone on May 18, and there she will face her toughest test when taking on the $200,000 Listed Denise’s Joy stakes (1100m). 

“We’re pretty rapt with her, and she’ll earn a crack now in the Denise’s Joy,” Dale said. 

“I knew we were jumping a few levels today, and she has done it well there, so she definitely deserves a crack.”