Whilst love at first sight might be overstating it, Andrew Harrison was convinced from the very start that Mnementh had something special about him.
When trainer Mitch Beer first brought Mnementh to the agistment property he owns in northern Victoria, Harrison immediately liked what he saw and had no hesitation in offering to buy a share in the son of unheralded stallion Eurozone.
“He hasn’t got much of a pedigree, so you might regret it,” the ever-honest Beer told Harrison.
On the contrary, it has proved one of the best decisions Harrison has made with Mnementh defying his underwhelming pedigree page and exceeding all expectations to win 10 races and over $500,000 in prizemoney, culminating in his first Stakes success in the Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final (1200m).
Harrison wasn’t at Flemington to see that stirring victory, instead watching it in the company of some friends at his local pub.
“I had to shout them a few beers afterwards, but I think we’ve still got some of the winnings left over,” said Harrison, who divides his time between his house in Brighton and the farm in Kiewa Valley.
After a crack at the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield this Saturday, 22 July, Beer is likely to pull the pin on Mnementh’s campaign and give the six-year-old a well-earned break before chasing further riches during the Spring Racing Carnival.
It’s all a far cry from the start of 2022, when Mnementh bled after running down the field in the Country Championships Final (1400m) at Wagga.
That forced a complete rethinking of the horse’s preparation, environment and routine by Beer who, for all his jovial exploits on social media, is an extremely gifted horseman.
“I’ve never known a trainer quite like him,” said Harrison, who has shares in 16 other gallopers including Flying Sultan, trained by Beer.
“It was a really brave decision to completely change the horse’s routine, but he asked all the owners to stick with him and it’s obviously paid off in a very big way.
“Despite his reputation he’s a deep thinker, he really knows his horses and he’s happy to back his judgement so I can’t speak highly enough of him. Hopefully Mnementh has got a few preps left in him yet, but when his time on the track is up I’ll definitely have another horse with Mitch.”
Another of Mnementh’s part-owners, Michael Harris, is also full of praise for Beer.
The Ascot Vale resident was trackside with his fellow punters club syndicate members, who took a 10 per cent share between them, to see Mnementh’s all-the-way win under Blake Shinn.
“Our syndicate has had a few slow horses in the past, but Mnementh definitely makes up for it,” he said.
“We’re having an absolute ball, we all got into owning horses to have fun and we’re definitely having fun with this guy and with Mitch. First and foremost he is very good at what he does, his feedback and communication is always open and honest.
“He always puts the care of the animal first, and what we really enjoy is the fact that he recognises people are getting into racehorse ownership because it gives them an outlet from their nine-to-five jobs during the week. We’ve had a fabulous time so far, and hopefully it can continue for a while yet but whatever happens, the horse owes us nothing because we’ve all had an unbelievable run with him.”