Trainer Peter Balzen and jockey Paul Hammersley kept the local Gold Coast flag flying when Punch On took out the $1m Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) today.
The popular pair have occasionally teamed up with success but will now be remembered together with Punch On making gold.
Starting at the generous odds of $9, Punch On added to his recent Group 3 Vo Rogue victory courtesy of a lovely ride by
The hoop probably owed the horse after being three wide in the Vo Rogue and still winning.
Hammersley repaid here when he settled sixth in the running line.
Previous Gold Coast races today favoured leaders and jockey Chris Whiteley on Rocket To Glory left no one wondering.
Rocket To Glory set a blistering speed in front of Double Impact, race favourite Safusa, Easy Running and Merryanna.
Hammersley was six lengths off the leader mid-race, in a good position but not overtaxing his mount.
Rounding the turn Rocket To Glory shortened stride as Safusa and Double Impact joined in.
Merryanna behind, had enough as Easy Running tracked Safusa with Punch On tracking him.
At the 100m, Easy Running took a narrow lead but Hammersley joined in and scored narrowly.
Happy Hussy (third) , Subarc and Biggles all ran on well to be close-up but never looked like winning.
The experienced Balzen kept his biggest win in stride.
“He (Hammersley) rode her a treat, I am happy with horse and rider,” he said.
“I thought if we had the luck we would win and I was pretty happy after 100 yards.
“She will go to the paddock on Monday and come back for the Queensland Guineas.
“I am very pleased and we will call her the million dollar baby from now on.”
For Hammersley his ride up the jockey ranks remains on track.
This year, black-type races have snuck onto his winning list.
Punch On, Grafton Cup winner Warrior Within and George Moore winner Adebisi, all won thanks to top rides.
“I thought I won by a bit further than that (nose) to tell you the truth but you don’t get more for further,” Hammersley
“My heart was racing the whole time.
“I think she will get 1600m and a little bit beyond, she relaxes very well in her races now.
“Anywhere up to 10 furlongs.”
Hammersley rated the win his best so far.
|1||12||PUNCH ON||Peter Balzen||Paul Hammersley||6||56kg||$9|
|2||5||EASY RUNNING||Desleigh Forster||Damian Browne||0.1L||3||57kg||$7|
|3||14||HAPPY HUSSY||David Payne||Corey Brown||1.4L||10||55kg||$6|
|4||9||SUBARC||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||1.5L||5||57kg||$8|
|5||1||BIGGLES||Noel J Doyle||Timothy Bell (a)||1.6L||11||57.5kg||$11|
|6||13||PLAYTIME||Todd Austin||Tommy Berry||2.4L||2||55kg||$9|
|7||4||DOUBLE IMPACT||Jackie Crompton||Eddie Wilkinson||2.5L||16||57kg||$81|
|8||3||NOISY OCEAN||Bryan Guy||Craig Williams||3.5L||15||57kg||$15|
|9||15||LUCKY MORNA||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||3.7L||8||55kg||$6|
|10||11||SHOW A PRINCE||Liam Birchley||Robert Thompson||4L||13||57kg||$31|
|11||8||SAFUSA||David Pfieffer||Jay Ford||6L||1||57kg||$4.40F|
|12||6||AQUATORIAL||Ron Macrae||Brad Stewart||7.3L||14||57kg||$41|
|13||16||MERRYANNA||Maryann Thexton||Jason Taylor||8.1L||4||55kg||$51|
|14||2||ROCKET TO GLORY||John Manzelmann||Chris Whiteley||8.9L||9||57kg||$31|
|15||10||PEPPER JET||Liam Birchley||Michael Rodd||9.9L||7||57kg||$61|
|16||7||COLLECTOR||Robert Bradshaw||Kelvin Wharton||16.4L||12||57kg||$101|
|20e||ANGEL OF MERCY||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||0|
|21e||C’EST LORRAINE||Lindsay Gough||scr||0|
|19e||STATE OF WEALTH||Brian Smith||scr||0|
|17e||PEPPERED BLACK||Lawrie Mayfield-Smith||scr||0|