Talented mare Magnifisio upset Angelic Light and Moment Of Change to lead home a Western Australian trifecta in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot this afternoon.
All the attention in the lead-up to the Winterbottom Stakes centered around Victorian-trained sprinters Angelic Light and Moment Of Change and the talented duo took up the running in the early stages of the race, while Magnifisio was settled towards the tail of the field.
Angelic Light and Moment Of Change looked as though they were going to fight out the finish, but tired in the final stages of the race and Magnifisio stormed down the outside with an explosive turn-of-foot to record a maiden win at Group 1 level from Watermans Bay and Shining Knight.
Trainer Jim Taylor admitted that he thought Magnifisio did not have much of a chance in the Winterbottom Stakes after she drew an outside barrier draw, but he was thrilled that his star mare was able to deliver him a second Winterbottom Stakes win following the triumph of Barakey in 2012.
“When we drew that barrier I thought we knocked out all chance with the good horses like Angelic Light and Moment Of Change drawing well and us drawing out there,” Taylor said.
“It just a great ride from Jason, he is as good as anyone here and the position that he got her in was perfect.
“I was really happy to get one off the fence and we had to go a little bit further back than normal, but it was just a great effort and she is just a great mare.”
Jockey Jason Brown has ridden Magnifisio in the majority of her race starts to date and he was aboard the Magnus mare when she returned to winning form in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 8.
Like Taylor, Brown though that the winning chances had taken a hit after the barrier draw, but he said that the five-year-old received plenty of luck in the early stages of the race, which allowed her to show her explosive turn-of-foot in the final stages of the race.
“She is a horse that has gone well when she has drawn gates, but we got a bit of luck early and she hit the line nice,” Brown said.
“I was able to slide out three deep and eventually roll in one off the fence and get a nice cart up behind the South Australian horse and then we peeled to the outside and she was real tough in the straight.
“She really pinged for me, there is not much of her, but she just finds the line.”
While Brown thought that it was luck that got Magnifisio into a lovely position in the early stages of the jockey, Steven Arnold who rode Watermans Bay argued that Brown gained that advantage due to careless riding that resulted in Watermans Bay losing a length and he was quick to lodge a protest.
Arnold was adamant that he had every right to hold his position in the first 150 metres of the race and argued that the early check cost Watermans Bay the race, but the Perth stewards dismissed the protest and Magnifisio held on to the Group 1 win.