Leading jockey Tommy Berry is taking winning form into the Magic Millions Classic following his victory on Whittington in the Magic Millions Sprint (1100m) at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Berry had already won the Magic Millions Stayers Cup with Noisy Ocean and the Magic Millions Handicap with Driefontein and produced another stellar ride to score a narrow victory on Whittington in track record time.
Liam Birchley-trained Emmalene, who is part owned by Rugby League legends Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley, worked home strongly on the inside of the track, but Berry said that being in the centre of the track gave his mount the advantage in the final stages of the race.
“It has been a good start but I am on some quality horses and full credit to Gai’s team again and Star Thoroughbreds,” Berry said after the race.
“You definitely want to be down the centre of the track, Craig Newitt didn’t think there were anything wrong with the inside, but I guess the winners tell the tale don’t they.
“That was only first-up and you can see how much he is blowing, he got a bit tired late, so there is plenty of improvement in front of him.”
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has had a high opinion of Whittington since he won the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m) and Lonhro Plate (1100m) as a two-year-old and is looking at targeting some of the major sprint races during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnvial with the Tale Of The Cat colt.
“The horse had done very well and I had set him for this race his entire preparation,” Waterhouse said.
“I knew that this was a perfect race for him and he is a speed horse.
“You go back to him winning that Breeders Plate and all those horses end up being good horses.”
Star Thoroughbreds founder Denise Martin has been delighted with the start her team has made at the Gold Coast this afternoon and is confident that Whittington has the talent to be competitive at the highest level of racing in the autumn.
“Gai just said that she will set him for some of the major sprints in Sydney during the autumn and that sounds like a good idea to me.
“He absolutely looked terrific in the yard and as soon as I saw him I knew that he was in with a major chance.”