Melbourne Cup plans for Kiwi expat

New Zealand-bred mare Black Mamba could be bound for the Melbourne Cup after scoring a repeat victory in the G3 Beverly Hills Handicap (2000m) at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

Trainer John Sadler said connections are considering a Melbourne Cup campaign for the Kiwi expat.  “She’s not nominated for the Breeders’ Cup but she’s Melbourne Cup eligible, so it’s something we’re thinking about,” Sadler said yesterday.  “We’ve got all of her vaccination shots up.”

Black Mamba (5m Black Minnaloushe – Sneetch by Grosvenor) won the Beverly Hills under a strong ride from jockey Garrett Gomez.  She caught Charming Legacy just before the line to win by a head in a sharp time of 1:59.72s.

“She’s kind of steady and long-striding and just keeps coming,” Gomez said.  “She’s a little one-paced but got the job done.”

Topweight Black Mamba became the fifth repeat winner of the Beverly Hills in the race’s 44-year history.  The others are La Zanzara (1974-75), Swingtime (1977-78), Flawlessly (1992-93) and Astra (2001-02).

Black Mamba recorded her first stakes win in last year’s Beverly Hills Hcp.  She became a G1 winner at her next start by capturing the John C. Mabee Handicap at Del Mar and will be nominated for that race again next month.

Black Mamba won once in 10 starts in NZ for Cambridge trainer Murray Baker.  She was sold to Richard Templer’s Doubledown Stables after finishing fifth to Princess Coup in the 2007 G1 NZ Oaks at Trentham.

Black Mamba’s dam Sneech was a G3 winner of the Auckland Ladies Mile and she has been represented by six other winners including Gussy Godiva (Last Tycoon), a Flemington and Caulfield winner for Brian Mayfield-Smith.  At stud she has foaled G1 Australian Derby winner Roman Emperor (Montjeu) and G2 Wellington Guineas winner Rios (Hussonet).