Weight of numbers won out for trainer Jeff Britton in tonight’s Group 3 Warragul St Leger (460m) when Mepunga Daniel flashed home to score a surprise victory at odds of $13.80.
An impeccably bred son of Barcia Bale and multiple group winner Mepunga Nicky, Mepunga Daniel motored down the front-running Curt Lee (Glenn Rounds) in the dying stages to claim the $25,000 first prize.
Just five nights earlier Curt Lee held Mepunga Daniel at bay in one of four St Leger heats.
“He probably had the luck of the run with having box 8 tonight, but he has done a great job to beat a terrific field,” said Britton, who had four runners in the final of the age-restricted event.
“He’s only just starting his journey, and at this stage he is showing a lot of potential.”
Mepunga Daniel, bred by Hall of Fame breeder Barry Smith, made it six wins from 12 starts.
Earlier in the night, $2.10 favourite Henessey Venom took out the Simon Benson Memorial Grade 5 Final (460m) for Grantville trainer Kerry Houlahan.
ST LEGER REPLAY
WATCH: Mepunga Daniel (8) defeats Curt Lee (5) and Get It Gizmo (3) in 26.02sec.
SIMON BENSON MEMORIAL REPLAY
WATCH: Henessey Venom (8) beats home Ken Holland-trained kennelmates Audacious Poppy (7) and Party Mix (1).
Compiled by Molly Haines and Andrew Copley. Photos by Molly Haines.