Tenacious six-year-old Mauna Kea scored the biggest win of his career to date when his never-say-die attitude paved the way for a gritty victory in Saturday’s Group 3 Gee & Hickton Funeral Directors Thompson Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.
The Per Incanto six-year-old, who goes by the nickname Boris around trainer Paul Moseley’s Hawera stable, has proven a model of consistency since breaking through for his first victory in May 2018. Since then he has added a further seven wins to the ledger, however a stakes victory had proved elusive until Saturday’s contest.
Moseley was adamant before the race that his charge was a serious winning chance as long as rider Dylan Turner allowed him to find his feet early in the contest. After jumping well from a midfield barrier Turner slid Mauna Kea forward to lope alongside pacemaker Dolcetto throughout before issuing his challenge shortly after entering the home straight.
Mauna Kea bounded to the front and with Turner urging him strongly in the final stages he held out a determined challenge from Jessiegee to score by a head at the post. Moseley was thrilled with the victory after nothing had gone Mauna Kea’s way when contesting the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings at his last start. “Things didn’t go to plan (at Hastings) but that happens in racing,” Moseley said.
“It suited him much better today. “He comes back quick from his races but he does like them spaced out. It takes him about three or four days and then he blossoms. “He won best presented today which is a feather in my wife’s cap. “I wouldn’t mind a couple more like him, in fact the game would be a lot easier with a couple more like that.”
Mauna Kea is the first foal of City On A Hill mare City Class Rose and hails from an extended family that includes multiple stakes winners Vite Cheval and Nat The Brat while his granddam is Grand National Hurdle (4200m) winner, Raggamuffin Rose.