It was heart in mouth stuff for Annabel Neasham who completed a Wyong feature double with Soaring Ambition overcoming a bump on the corner to take out the $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic in impressive style.
It capped off a super day for Neasham, who earlier took out the 3YO & 4YO Stakes with Wisdom Of Water.
Soaring Ambition was coming with a sustained run on the turn when she was bumped and forced wide.
Tommy Berry was able to rebalance the filly who lengthened over the last 100m, gathering in the leaders on the line to win by a neck.
“I was having heart palpitations on the turn,” a relieved Neasham said after the race. “It looked like she’d clipped heels and was scary for a minute.
“She’s such a gutsy filly and I’ve always had a lot of time for her. This has been an obvious race for her, and I was pretty confident.
“To win this race is very special, especially given the circumstances, so she’s obviously pretty talented. Bring on the Gold Coast.”
Berry was also full of praise for the Not A Single Doubt filly, a $270,000 Magic Millions yearling raced by Zhongli Thoroughbreds.
“It was a great effort. It’s the last track you want to get a bump on the corner, but she was able to pick herself up quickly and win with authority, which was good to see.
“I want to stick with her. She is one of the most professional two-year-old’s I’ve sat on and you saw that today.
“She’s definitely a Magic Millions horse but you won’t know if she’s a Golden Slipper horse until she gets the job done up there but she’s with a great stable.”
Coming off just one trial, Soaring Ambition earned some support and was sent out at $11 and with the win has now been installed as an $11 chance for the Gold Coast 2YO Classic on January 15,
Miss Hellfire ($5.50) from the Snowden yard was runner-up at Wyong, with Damien Lane’s Wealthy Investor ($18), impressive third. The $3.90 favourite Command Approved from the Waterhouse/Bott stable, hung on the turn well, finishing fourth.
Race 4: MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 3YO & 4YO STAKES (1200m):
A super ride by Rachel King saw Wisdom Of Water return to the winner’s circle in the best possible way, taking out the $100,000 Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes.
Raced by the Fung Family, the Headwater four-year-old was a $70,000 Magic Millions yearling, having his 19thcareer start.
He began his racing career on the Gold Coast and is now set to return, with Annabel Neasham saying she would find a suitable Magic Millions race for him.
“He’s a very talented colt and his owners have been great supporters of mine,” Neasham said. “I’ll take him to the Gold Coast now. He’s won races there before and races well up there.
“He’s been knocking on the door for a while and it’s great to get him back in the winners enclosure. It looked like the perfect race and conditions for him today and fortunately that’s how it turned out.
“It was a lovely ride by Rachel, she was parked behind them, and I thought he’d gone the wrong way at one stage, but it was great to see him knuckle down and fight to the line.”
King said she had needed a bit of luck and was happy when it came.
“He proved he’s the class horse today. He’s not an easy horse and needed a bit of luck.
“It was a benefit me having ridden him in his last couple of starts because I’ve learnt his tricks. Annabel thought he might appreciate a girl rider and it’s definitely working. He’s racing really nicely for me and it’s great to get the win.”
Wisdom Of Water was sent out ($3.30) second favourite, beating Tracey Bartley’s Compassionate ($61) who was brave in defeat, with a dead heat for third between the Waterhouse/Bott trained favourite Snitzonfire ($2.90), with Tanker ($8) from the Maher/Eustace stable, third.
Race 1: MAINSTREAM FINANCE SERVICES PTY LTD CONDITIONAL BM 68 (1600m):
A thrilling finish to open the program, with Kylie Gavenlock’s Highjacker returning to form with a strong win.
The High Chaparral gelding, ridden by Andrew Gibbons came from last before the turn to run down the leader and race favourite Dodecanese ($2.30) on the line.
Gavenlock had been at a loss to explain the seven-year-old’s poor performance when resuming at Wyong on November 6.
She made some gear changes, which proved to winning moves, with Highjacker ($6) bringing up his third career victory.
“He was terrible first up and I couldn’t fathom why he went so bad,” she said. “I changed some things around, added a tongue tie and blinkers, and thank God he did something for me today.
“He’s going to make a pretty nice stayer. He’s a cranky old thing but it’s good to see him return to form.”
Gibbons said it was a “masterstroke” by Gavenlock to apply the blinkers.
“I was worried about the blinkers, but they got him back to his old self today,”
Gavenlock’s Dundee ($31) was third.
Race 2: MAINSTREAM TAXATION & ACCOUNTACY SERVICES BM64 (2100m):
Lee Magorrian’s confidence about Dalgarno was justified when he snatched a last stride victory on the Nathan Doyle trained gelding.
Magorrian had partnered the Dalghar four-year-old at his last start at Newcastle on December 4 and after finishing third told Doyle if he gave him another ride on him, he would win.
And that he did in another exciting finish, with Dalgarno running down the locally trained Apache Belle on the line to bring up his third win.
Dalgarno was positioned perfectly by Magorrian behind the two favourites, and when the race looked won, he kept coming, lunging on the line to claim victory.
“It was a brilliant ride by Lee, and he backed up his words,” Doyle said. “I think he’s still a preparation away mentally because he needs to relax down, especially if he’s going to get over a trip. But he got the job done today so I’ll tip him out and I’m sure there will be plenty more wins in him.”
Dalgarno, after earning strong late support, started at $5.50, beating Wayne Seelin’s Apache Belle ($4.40), with Reposition ($6.50) trained by Greg Preston, third.
The $2.90 favourite Viren raced without luck, finishing fourth.
Race 3: MAGIC MILLIONS 2022 GOLD COAST YEARLING SALE 11-17 JANUARY 4YO & UP MAIDEN (1350m):
Mum-to-be Diorissima goes out a winner after showing a terrific turn of foot to bring up her first victory.
The four-year-old mare, by USA sire Tapit, came from behind on the turn speeding down the outside to win by almost two lengths.
Trained at Goulburn by Jean Dubois, Diorissima was a $160,000 Magic Millions yearling having her 14thcareer start.
Coming off a Randwick trial win on December 7, Diorissima earned strong support backed in from $7 to $4.40.
“It wasn’t our intention to get that far back but you’ve almost got to ride her ugly to ride her good,” Innes said.
“Her best run previously was in a highway when she circled the field and finished fourth. We put the blinkers on her today to try and get her to relax and thought it she gets back and has to come around it them that’s what we’ll have to do.
“They skipped away on the corner, and I was a bit worried, but it was a huge effort by her, and she picked them up well.”
Auzstar ($4) from the Waller stable was second after handling the corner awkwardly, while Gary Moore’s Harapan ($5) put in a much-improved performance to finish third.
Race 5: EXALTED CONSTRUCTIONS CLASS 1 (1600m):
The Ryan/Alexiou trained El Parmy made it back-to-back wins proving too strong for his opposition over the final stages of the 1600m race.
The Snitzel colt sent out at $4.60 on the strength of a Canterbury victory on November 26.
He was given a great ride by Nash Rawiller, who circled the field on the turn and overhauled the leaders to win by more than a length.
“He’s on an upward rise now,” Rawiller said after the win. “He took a bit of confidence out of his last win and took it to another level today.
“I think the key to his last win was letting him come into the race of his own accord. A few of them wanted to be there early today and there was a bit of pressure, but he was pretty fresh on the scene when he joined them in the straight and was able to put the sword to them. It was great.”
El Parmy was a $200,000 Magic Millions yearling, his victory continuing a super run for the stable with 15 winners from their past 35 starters.
He beat the Freedman trained Rock The Bells ($3.90), with Typanist ($14) from the David Payne stable, third.
The $2.90 favourite King Of Spades appeared to have every chance, finishing toward the rear.
Race 7: WYONG’S NEXT RACE MEETING SATURDAY JANUARY 8 BM64 (1100m):
An emotional win in the last with the Todd Howlett trained Toto coming with a sustained run to bring up his fourth career win.
The Manhattan Rain gelding suffered a broken jaw in a truck accident last year and was scratched at the barriers at his last two starts.
There were no such problems today, with the five-year-old on his best behaviour.
Tom Sherry settled him at the rear of the field, coming from last and running down his rivals to score by a head.
“It’s been a tough time for him and he’s lucky to be alive,” Howlett said.
“He had some long overdue luck on his side today. I was a bit worried when he was back in the field, but he got home well which is great to see.
‘He’s a nice horse and deserved the win. He will go on to better races.”
Sherry said he was also concerned when Toto was slow to begin.
“I was a touch concerned but he did his best work on the line,” he said.
“He was the class horse in the race and it’s good to get some confidence on his side.”
Greg Hickman’s $3.80 favourite Tudor Music was second, over Lashoni ($12) from the Troy O’Neile stable.