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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Smart mare Mandy Joan, a hot $1.30 favourite from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m TABtouch Better Your Bet Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, gave her supporters some anxious moments over the final stages before she held on grimly to win by a nose from $7 chance Euphoric Moment.

She set a moderate pace for the first 1200m before final quarters of 28sec. and 29sec. and was fully extended by Euphoric Moment, who challenged hard in the final stages and just failed to gain the verdict.

“She got the cash, but she can go better,” said trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo. “She won but I was still a bit disappointed with her run. Maybe I might have knocked the top off her a little bit, more than I expected, two weeks ago (when she started out wide at barrier seven, raced wide for the first 500m before getting to the front and then fading to finish eighth in a field of nine).”I think she is a better horse than she showed tonight.”

Mandy Joan, a five-year-old by Art Major, was bred and is owned by Steve Johnson, and she has earned $147,228 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts.

She is the sixth foal and the fourth winner out of the Die Laughing mare Endless Journey, who also produced Isaiah Artois (26 starts for nine wins, 16 placings and $117,350) and Dibaba, who has raced 147 times for 16 wins, 20 placings and $94,744. Dibaba has raced 14 times in New South Wales this year for 11 wins and two placings, as well as having two starts at Brisbane’s Albion Park for a third and an eighth placing.

Endless Journey’s dam Hold Tight produced Fake Embrace, who was retired with a record of 178 starts for 37 wins, 40 placings and $240,249. Fake Embrace had 26 starts in Western Australia for 11 wins and three placings before continuing his career in America. His major success was in the group 1 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings in March 2004.