Sunshine Coast colt Saluter lived up to the potential trainer Jason McLachlan always knew he possessed to claim a thrilling upset win in the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast today.
Ignored in the betting at $17, the three-year-old produced a gutsy performance to edge out top fancies Sizzling and Driefontein and claim the biggest win of his young career.
From a mid-field barrier Damian Browne elected to push forward on the son of Commands and sat outside the lead of Driefontein who set a true tempo.
At the business end of the race Saluter responded to hit the line strongly and hold off the fast-finishing Sizzling and a tiring Driefontein.
It was the fifth time Browne has ridden the emerging horse this preparation and he was elated to see the “unlucky” galloper pick up a feature win.
“He’s raced without much luck right through this campaign,” Browne said.
“He’s just a 110 per cent racehorse. He gives everything he’s got.”
An emotional McLachlan has targeted Saluter at the race all campaign and was delighted his plan paid off.
“I said to the owners, they thought I was a bit silly, I said he’ll nearly win this race,” McLachlan said.
“They [the public] were all rating the other horses and my horse never got a look in.
“But you watch his last few runs he had no luck and he’s a good horse, he just proved that. He came across, sat outsider the leader and still won.”
It was the fourth win from 13 starts for Saluter who announced himself as one of the most promising horses in Queensland.
Sizzling flew home in typical fashion but needed slightly more distance after getting no luck from his wide barrier draw and getting caught up in the run.