Years of patience finally paid off for Mudgee trainer Gayna Williams on Tuesday as “work in progress” Magic Ticket claimed his maiden victory at the Daily Liberal Melbourne Cup Race Day at the Dubbo Turf Club.
Williams also owns the six-year-old brown gelding, who came from behind for a convincing win in the Fairfax Marketing Services CG&E Maiden Plate (1200 metres).
But she is the first to admit the Tickets x Majestic progeny “hasn’t got a great future”.
“I can say that because my husband and I own him with our son,” Williams laughed.
“Having said that, our plan is to keep stepping him out over distance.
“We spelled him for about two years. We didn’t look at him for about two years, we just let him grow up and grow out a bit and he’s been a bit of a concern for us but anyway he went well today.”
A small, five horse field – courtesy of three scratchings – suited Magic Trick but the gelding was still restless ahead of the start.
The Clint Lundholm-trained Blinkin’ Lucky (apprentice Ashleigh Stanley, $11) led out of the gate ahead of Allan Gibson’s Bellagio Prince (Ken Dunbar, $9) and Raunchy Rhythm (Kacie Chater, $8), but apprentice Kath Bell-Pitomac and Magic Trick ($2 favourite) were happy to settle in behind them.
Bellagio Prince gained the ascendancy coming out of the turn, but with 300 metres to go Bell-Pitomac moved Magic Trick wide of the pack.
Finding some space, he was able to kick away into the lead and, while Raunchy Rhythm and Bellagio Prince continued to push, Magic Trick pulled away.
He finished 2.79 lengths ahead of Frank Hayes’ Raunchy Rhythm, with Bellagio Prince 4.43 lengths back in third.
“The small field suited him and the non-TAB day suited him,” Williams said.
“Kath rode him terrific. She’s ridden him before and rode him really, really well today.”
When asked about Magic Trick’s restless nature, Bell-Pitomac said “always – not just today!”
“It’s a horse that I’ve ridden a couple of times. He usually gets back a bit and finishes off,” she said.
“Still quite awkward in himself, like he’s still learning things a bit so it’s just trying to keep him focused and make sure that he didn't lose it when he got to the front.”
She credited Marina Morel for her excellent track work with the restless gelding.
“He’s just a little bit of a difficult horse,” Bell-Pitomac said.
“The girl that rides him [Morel] has done a great job with him, Gayna has done a great job with him.
“He’s just been a bit difficult all the way through.”
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