Andrew Mallyon rides Run Naan to victory on Stakes Day (Image: Racing Photos)
Andrew Mallyon has grabbed his sole chance at some Melbourne Cup Carnival success when he partnered Tony’s McEvoy’s impressive colt Run Naan to take the group 3 Maribyrnong Plate on Saturday.
Mallyon spent AAMI Victoria Derby Day and Kennedy Oaks Day watching the races from his couch at home and travelled to Echuca for the Emirates Melbourne Cup meeting on Tuesday, so he wasn’t going to let his chance in the opening race on the final day slip by.
‘’He won well on debut at Bendigo and he’s come on since then so I was pretty hopeful he’d run well and he really did,’’ Mallyon said after partnering the $13 chance to victory.
‘’He gave me a great feel at Bendigo and he’s only going to get better as a three-year-old over some ground.’’
Remarkably, Mallyon has only ever ridden in the Maribyrnong Plate once before – when he scored on General Truce in 2009.
Mallyon is the grandson of the former great Micky Mallyon and he took time to pay tribute to him on Saturday.
‘’I'd just like to say a cheerio to my old Pop, Mick, he's been a bit crook this week. I told him I'd ride him a winner today, and get well soon Pop, that one was for you.’’
The victory brought up back-to-back Maribyrnong Plates for trainer Tony McEvoy after winning the $150,000 race last year with Aspect.
The Makfi colt was bred by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who has been a recent supporter of the McEvoy stable over the past few seasons and now has a dozen or so of his horses in the trainer’s care.
McEvoy said the group 3 win meant he could pick and choose which races to target in the autumn given the horse already has a major spring credit to his name.
‘’He will grow up,’’ he said. ‘’I want him to settle down because I need to keep him as an entire.
‘’He’s a pretty good colt this fellow and I’ll pop him aside now and we’ll come back in the autumn and we’ll have a look at him then.
‘’This is a pretty big stage but the autumn is a bigger stage for these babies.’’
The favourite for the race was the $3.30 chance King but the $1 million yearling purchase was one of the first beaten, ultimately finishing seventh.