Nerves yet to get to Banks ahead of Magic Millions
Kristy Banks isn’t yet feeling the pressure ahead of the biggest ride of her career aboard Spirit Of Boom in Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast.
Banks will become only the second of her gender to win the two-year-old feature if the $5.50 second favourite Spirit Of Boom is successful.
Adelaide jockey Clare Lindop was the first with her success on Augusta Proud in 2008.
"I’m not too bad at the moment and I’m doing everything normal for the time being," Banks said.
"I’ll probably start getting a little nervous in the jockeys’ room before the race but I’ll be right once I get on the horse and get out there."
Banks and her husband Dale Groves, a horse breaker and pre-trainer, live at Oakey which has a population of less than 4,000 north-west of Toowoomba on Queensland’s Darling Downs.
They own a five-hectare property neighbouring Banks’ parents home.
Her father, Graham Banks, is a successful trainer in his own right and she started her career as an apprentice with him as a 15-year-old.
"I’ve always been around horses. I was into pony clubs when I started off and Mum and Dad took me everywhere from Mareeba in north Queensland to Tumut in the south of NSW," she said.
"It (pony clubs) was my whole life as a kid."
Banks never rode a winner in the Brisbane metropolitan area as an apprentice but has really hit her straps in recent times.
"I’m not sure how many winners I’ve ridden in my career but I’ve ridden seven in town this season and I rode my first city double last September at Eagle Farm," she said.
Banks acknowledged the feat Lindop achieved on Augusta Proud two years ago and declared it would be an honour to equal her achievement.
"Clare is a great rider and is up there with the best. It would be great if I could win this race and repeat what she did," Banks said.
"She’s never frightened to mix it with other riders."
Banks won’t fall for the sucker punch from some of her more experienced counterparts and will let Spirit Of Boom dictate whether she leads on the colt or takes a sit.
"We come into barrier nine if the emergencies don’t run and he doesn’t have to lead," she said.
"I don’t think he’ll have any problem running 1200 metres. It’s a high-tempo race but he can take a sit if need be."
Spirit Of Boom stormed into Magic Millions calculations with a seven-length romp in the Magic Millions Prelude (900m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday but some doubt his ability to run 1200 metres.
The son of Sequalo was bred at Colin McAlpine’s Eureka Stud at Cambooya outside Toowoomba and is a daughter of Temple Spirit, the winner of eight of her 16 starts.
Temple Spirit’s career was prematurely cut short when she suffered a bad knee injury when third to Royal Shiraz in the Listed Just Now Quality (1200m) at Doomben in 2004.
McAlpine has already tasted Magic Millions success with Sea Cabin who won for late trainer Des Burns in the race’s second running in 1988.
Temple Of Boom’s trainer Tony Gollan, 30, has only been training for 10 years and to date his best win was in his first season with Nova Serrure in the Listed Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast.
By Glenn Davis