FOR the best part of 90 minutes, Ben Melham slugged it out with a personal trainer to ensure he made the weight for Secret Liaison, winner of today’s Lord Stakes at Mornington.
While Melham declined to reveal just how much Christmas ‘pudding’ he needed to shed, the strenuous workout paid dividends.
It needed all Melham’s coaxing to lift the in-form Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained mare to a half neck win in the Listed Race over Another Prelate.
“I put on too much weight over Christmas,” lamented Melham.
“I did it pretty tough to get here today, but I thought she was a good hope.
Melham said he endured a torturous training session earlier today wearing sweat gear as he alternated between three-minute boxing rounds, walking and more boxing.
After struggling to measure-up during spring, Secret Liaison benefited from 10-days in the paddock at owner David Moodie’s property, to rebound to win three of her past four starts.
Zahra said Secret Liaison has not only maintained her form in fillies and mares company, but risen to Listed Race company.
“We were crossing our fingers that today wasn’t going to be ‘she’s had enough day’,” he said.
“She might end up in the paddock or we might go again.”
Secret Liaison, a $5 equal favourite, scored by half a neck from Another Prelate, $12, with one and a quarter lengths to White Universe, the other equal favourite.
“The boys (Ellerton and Zahra) have kept her in good form for a while now. She had a beautiful run throughout, came off the back of the favourite and was too good,” Melham said.