Brunton’s star gone but not forgotten
Even if Mandela Effect wins the Toorak Handicap, it will provide little consolation for trainer Scott Brunton after the loss of stable star Hellova Street.
Hellova Street succumbed to a twisted bowel late last week and was humanely euthanased.
“I trained five winners at Hobart last Sunday and someone said that would have softened the blow. It couldn’t. Even a Toorak would be the same,” Brunton said.
Making matters worse, Brunton was in Hobart while Hellova Street was in Victoria at the Maldon property of trainers Brian and Ashley McKnight.
“I can’t thank them enough. They did everything they could to try and save him and also to comfort him,” he said.
Brunton said Hellova Street was a once-in-a-lifetime horse.
“The horse commanded attention and respect,” Brunton said.
“He was twice Tassie Horse Of the Year and he won 20 races and was placed 25 times from 59 starts.
“So many people bought shares in horses in my stable because they had heard of him. I loved the horse. He didn’t deserve that.”
Brunton is confident Mandela Effect, who also boasts a great strike rate with 12 wins from 25 starts, will run a big race in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday, although he doesn’t want the track to be too wet.
At his last start, Mandela Effect finished ninth in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes behind Behemoth at Caulfield and Brunton said he was unlucky.
“I thought he went great. It was his first time in blinkers and he was just starting to warm up when he was held up for most of the straight,” Brunton said.
“I thought he’d be carrying something like 53-1/2 kilos but he’s got 56-1/2 kilos, which means it’s not a strong field.
“He’s drawn out in barrier eight with Junipal in nine so ‘Froggy’ (jockey Craig Newitt) can follow him into the race.
“He loves a mile and he also loves Caulfield where he has defeated Streets Of Avalon.”
Mandela Effect was at $34 with TAB fixed odds on Friday with the Mike Moroney-trained Buffalo River a $4 favourite.