Brightexpectations for Magic Millions colt
Brightexpectations bolstered Gai Waterhouse’s impressive record in the Magic Millions Wyong Slipper when he scored a thrilling victory in the $200,000 race.
Brightexpectations looks set to be a major force in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast in January after giving Waterhouse her third win in the Wyong feature, a race which has only been run since 2003.
The 1000-metre dash was held in front of a solid crowd of around 6,000 in glorious sunshine and they witnessed a classic two-horse battle in the closing stages.
Brightexpectations settled second behind Star Lass before jockey Nash Rawiller made his move shortly after straightening.
The More Than Ready colt, who started the odds-on favourite, was forced to dig deep to fend off the David Payne-trained Star Lass ($10) by a long head with Triple Crown ($4.60) from the Gary Portelli stable 1-1/2 lengths away third.
The win gave Rawiller some consolation on two fronts.
Rawiller is stable jockey for Waterhouse and she required him at Rosehill on Saturday, meaning he had to turn down the winning ride on Saturday’s Group One Kingston Town Stakes hero Sniper’s Bullet.
Brightexpectations’ win also made amends for the flop of stablemate Shadow Assassin who Rawiller partnered into seventh behind Graceful Anna in the $100,000 Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Stakes one race before the Slipper.
"That’s racing, it’s a tough game sometimes," Rawiller said.
"But that was a great effort by Brightexpectations.
"He jumped extremely well and I thought I was going well enough to lead but Star Lass showed exceptional speed so I just let my horse dictate it’s own speed.
"We needed him to win today but I’m sure Gai has kept a bit in the locker with him, he’s always shown us good ability early."
Brightexpectations, whose only previous run was a fourth to General Truce in the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington last month, is being aimed at the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) in January.
"He’s a pretty tough customer and will be better over 1200 to 1400 metres later on," Rawiller said.
"He was a bit disappointing when he went to Flemington but it’s hard for horses to go there first time up and show their best but this effort was somewhere near his best."
Waterhouse is holidaying in the United States and was on the phone to her stable staff shortly after Brightexpectations’ win.
"I’m sure that will make Gai’s holiday more enjoyable after Shadow Assassin," Rawiller said.
Waterhouse landed her first Wyong Slipper with Pulsator in 2005 and won it again two years later with She’s Meaner.
By Russell Jackson