Grand Win for Mahanadi

The Peter Vela owned Mahanadi (Tiger Hill) completed a meteoric rise through the jumping ranks to land the prestigious $70,000 Hospitality New Zealand Canterbury 124th Grand National Hurdles (4200m) at Riccarton.

As a six-year-old gelding Mahanadi is considered a jumping greenhorn, he only started his jumping career a month before taking out yesterday’s time honoured race.

Mahanadi jumping to victory in the Grand National Hurdles.
Photo courtesy of Race Images South.

Mahanadi won his jumping debut on 6 July at Awapuni and followed that with another win a week later over the fences at Trentham.

Trained by jumping maestro Kevin Myers, Mahanadi trekked south to Blenheim for a hit out over 1950m on the flat before heading to Riccarton.

He raced in the Sydenham Hurdles on Saturday where he well beaten over 3100m and had many punters pondering if he could handle the rise in class heading into the Grand National Hurdles. Mahanadi removed all traces of doubt when he showed a dominant front running display of near faultless jumping.

Jockey Kayla Veenendaal allowed Mahanadi to stride to the front early in the race and that is where the pair remained for the duration. As they approached the home turn Veenendaal asked her mount for further effort and he duly responded.

The field, packed full of accomplished hurdlers, was under pressure a long way from the winning post and Mahanadi streaked out to a six-length victory.

“He was a bit keen after his run at Blenheim so Saturday settled him down nicely and he was able to find a good cruising speed yesterday,” commented Myers. “He jumped very well and it was a good win.”

Further jumping riches could be on the agenda for Mahanadi if the weather plays in his favour.

“We might look at the Great Northern Hurdle at Ellerslie if the track is wet enough for him,” said Myers.

The son of Danehill stallion Tiger Hill is a proficient galloper on the flat as well having won four of his 10 starts without obstacles in front of him. His overall race record reads impressively having won half of his 14 starts for earnings of $98,025.

Owned by Peter Vela and bred at his Pencarrow Stud property, Mahanadi is out of Bargibant (Sir Tristram), a three-quarter-sister to Group 1 winner Fair Sir (Sir Tristram). She is the dam of Group 2 WATC CB Cox Stakes winner Free at Last (Senor Pete) and two-year-old stakes placegetter Kingdon Reigns (Ron’s Victory).

Mahanadi is Bargibant’s last living foal.