Gai Waterhouse-trained Carriages led from start to finish to upset Prompt Return in the 2014 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic at Ballarat this afternoon.
Prompt Return was well-backed in the lead-up to the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic after his impressive front-running win in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 8, but Carriages jumped straight to the lead from the gates and was never headed by Prompt Return in the straight; with the two horses working well clear of their rivals in the $200,000 race.
Jockey Craig Williams said after the race that Waterhouse had been very bullish about the chances of Carriages in the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic and the leading hoop said that he was thrilled his decision to take up the running on the two-year-old had paid off.
“She actually spoke to David the owner and said that we have to target this type of race,” Williams said.
“She sent her down and I got to sit on her yesterday and she is a little pocket rocket and has a great attitude.
“Roger said that he is happy with the way that she settled into Melbourne and sheer speed and determination won her this race today.
“I thought that this horse has natural speed, she is a natural right-handed horse of going and I thought that would be a big advantage in this race today.
“I wanted to use that to my advantage and she delivered well.
“She just has a great attitude; she is not very big, but she has a big heart and she is a lovely filly going the right way looking towards the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.”
Carriages made her racing debut in the Betting Season Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on November 8 and owner David Henderson was most disappointed when the Hinchinbrook filly finished third behind Mine Two.
Henderson said that he was initially against running Carriages in the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic, but was convinced to do so by Waterhouse and he confirmed that the filly would now head towards the 2015 Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January.
“Craig Williams was going to ride and I was very pleased with that and he rode her super today,” Henderson said.
“We thought two weeks ago that she would go to the races and just win and I was flattened when she ran third, I didn’t know what had happened.
“I scratched my head and lost a bit of confidence, but as I said Gai pumped us back up again, so we came down here and she has got the job done and beat a pretty smart horse.
“We will have to look at that, she will be well and truly qualified, we are from the Gold Coast and we have had a lot of success up there on those race days.
“It will be good to be there again hopefully.”
Prompt Return loomed to beat Carriages coming around the turn, but the Beneteau colt looked to die on his run slightly in the final stages and had no excuses for his defeat.