A maximum field of 16 fillies and mares tackled the $200,000 Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday, with outside chance Endless Shadow emerging victorious.
The Chris Waller-trained race favourite Champagne Cath was one of the first to leave the gates while a fair way back Endless Shadow was gathering speed in a hurry.
With 600 metres left to run, Zippity Lass was the leader half a length from Stolen Kisses. Into the straight, Champagne Cath made her move coming quickly up the outside followed by Endless Shadow.
The pair fought for the lead along with Anna Lizzie who had snuck her way in but ultimately Peter Hulbert’s six-year-old mare won a length in front of Anna Lizzie with a photo finish between the mare and Champagne Cath.
Local favourite jockey Tegan Harrison rode the $19 hopeful a treat, making her way over from the second widest gate, delivering her late when the leaders just ran out of steam.
“We were pretty wide the whole trip but she was jogging back in distance so she was just fit enough to be tough at the end,” Harrison said following the race.
“I won a lot of races on the horse the last time she was in Brisbane but since she’s been with Pete I’ve had no luck even though he’s done a fantastic job with her.
“I got the ride on her today and she’s coming back to her best, he’s obviously worked her out and I hope they have a lot of fun together.”
Hulbert really liked Endless Shadow’s chances last week when she was runner-up in the Fillies & Mares Benchmark 85 Handicap (1400m) at the Gold Coast. The trainer just had to wait another week for the emotional victory.
“This is outstanding,” he said.
“To do it on Magic Millions Day is unbelievable.”
His training partner son Will noted that the soft track conditions worked in the mare’s favour.
“We’ve been praying for rain all week but this is probably the best she’s ever gone.”
The Magic Millions Filles & Mares Handicap was Endless Shadow’s 43rd start and just seventh win. She will receive a great injection of $114,000 to her total prizemoney of $161,000.