By David Nagel
Pakenham trainer Bill Papazaharoudakis thinks he may have a handy type on his hands after Marlion’s Dream won a thrilling finish to the $35,000 BenchMark-64 Handicap (1300m) at Bendigo on Sunday.
Marlion’s Dream and the Ben Brisbourne-trained Atomic Selfie cleared out from the pack at the 300, racing six lengths clear of the field.
Ridden desperately by Jamie Mott, Marlion’s Dream edged out Atomic Selfie…quite appropriately in a photo finish!
The four-year-old gelding out of Skilled/Dream Chaser is very lightly raced, with Sunday’s win on a heavy-8 his third success from just six career starts.
Marlion’s Dream kicked off his career in February last year, having just four runs throughout the calendar year.
Sunday’s run was just his second visit to the track in 2022.
“I think he’s quite a good horse, he’s just had a heap of issues like viruses…that’s what kept us from running him,” Papazaharoudakis said after the race.
“He’s handled the wet, he’s galloped on the grass at Pakenham, so we were pretty confident heading in…it was a really good win.”
Mott said Marlion’s Dream not only handled the heavy track, but he seemed to enjoy it.
“He actually loved it,” Mott said post-race.
“I actually trialled him before his first run this preparation, and he had a bit of time (seven weeks) between that run and this run.
“We didn’t know how he would handle it, but he really loved it, really enjoyed it, and I think he’s in for a great preparation.”
Mott settled Marlion’s Dream well back in the field and had some decisions to make as the field turned for home.
“I just let him find hid own way, I was back in the pack and not sure whether to ride for a bit of luck or come around them,” he said.
“I decided to come around and always thought he would win coming up the straight…but the last little bit he started to get a bit tired.
“I put the whip away and just tried to help him as much as I could.”