Mimi’s Award prevails in Deane Lester Flemington Cup

15 July 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Improving stayer Mimi’s Award has added the Deane Lester Flemington Cup to her CV.

Victoria's leading jockey for the 2022-23 season Daniel Stackhouse said it was a big thrill to win the race named in honour of Deane Lester at Flemington. 

Set to be named Victoria's leading jockey at season's end, Stackhouse guided the Ben and Jd Hayes-trained Mimi's Award to victory in the Deane Lester Flemington Cup (2800m) on Saturday. 

Lester, a leading form analyst in Victoria who died earlier in the year, was instrumental in the resurrection of the Flemington Cup back in 2020. 

"It's a big thrill and a big honour to win this race named after Deane. He was a big part of racing and I'm just so happy to have won this race," Stackhouse said. 

Proving the more solid stayer, Mimi's Award ($4.40) got the better of the $2 favourite Mostly Cloudy to score by a long head with Savvy Valentino ($61) a further four lengths away third. 

Stackhouse said the race worked out perfectly as he followed Jye McNeil aboard the favourite. 

"She switches off and gets into a beautiful rhythm," Stackhouse said. 

"The tempo was a lot stronger than I thought it might have been and I just stalked Jye the whole way. He gave me a good cart into it, and I knew what I had underneath me. She's such a good little stayer and tries her heart out. She got her head in front and held them off the whole way." 

A five-year-old daughter of Shamus Award, Mimi's Award has improved with age. 

Mimi's Award has now won three of her past four starts over a staying trip, with those victories all coming at Flemington. 

Prior to Saturday's win, Mimi's Award had scored in the Banjo Paterson Series Final (2600m) on July 1. 

Stackhouse said the Lindsay Park-trained mare was capable of winning in a better grade than the company she was opposed to on Saturday. 

"The biggest attribute of her is she is a good stayer," Stackhouse said.