Mitchell Freedman and Beau Mertens have combined with another classy mare to take out another Caulfield feature, with Vagrant (+500) flying home from the back of the field to claim the Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes.
After jumping a little slow from barrier two, Mertens allowed the daughter of Pariah to settle and get into a rhythm three back on the rail, while Penthouse (+450) set a solid tempo out in front.
As the field rounded the home turn, it appeared as though Jordan Childs had pinched a winning gap on Penthouse as the rest of her rivals started to struggle but Mertens was picking them off along the rail and making solid ground.
Once Vagrant was given full bore and got clear, she finished off with a blistering turn of foot and put the race to bed within a few strides and defeated Penthouse and Party For One (+800) to claim valuable black type for her connections.
Mitchell Freedman was elated with the Group 3 victory for Vagrant, and he spoke post-race.
“Great to see this horse (Vagrant) salute today,” Freedman said.
“There's always plenty of confidence when I'm throwing Beau (Mertens) on at the moment, he doesn't make too many wrong decisions for us.
“When she was ducking and weaving back there towards the inside and I knew there had been a good tempo in front of her, I knew she was the fit horse on the scene and the horse in form.
“She was pretty impressive in the finish.
“It might be a bit easier to stay at home now, as winning that race is equal to winning that race in Tassie, so she's got that on the board now and we will assess all her options.”
Beau Mertens is building a nice affiliation with Mitchell Freedman's mare and he spoke post-race about the win and his relationship with Freedman.
“Every time I was building up from the 600 (metres) and got more room, she just kept finding underneath me,” Mertens said of Vagrant.
“I could just feel her building her revs up and got the space up the fence, I thought she was the winner a long way out.
“It's been fantastic (building a relationship with Mitch Freedman).