Private Secretary savaged the line in the 2017 Magic Millions Fillies & Mares at the Gold Coast this afternoon to record her first race win in well over 12 months.
Ben Melham elected to settle Private Secretary in the early stages of the race, her usual racing style, while Brenton Avdulla took up the running on the favourite Egyptian Symbol.
Private Secretary was still more than ten lengths off the lead at the top of the straight and I Am Zelady looked as though she had the race won, but Private Secretary made up a staggering amount of ground in the final stages to steal victory in the shadows of the post.
The daughter of Husson had not recorded a race win since she took out the Mark Moran Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick in June of 2015 and trainer Gregory Hickman was clearly emotional to see his star mare return to winning form.
“She trialed well and we had been happy with her preparation,” Hickman said.
“We knew that she would need a bit of luck.
“She has travelled here, there and everywhere and I am just happy that she has won.”
While Private Secretary had not won a race for well over a year, she produced a number of more than credible performances in 2016.
She finished second behind Savoureux in the Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 5 before she made her Group 1 debut in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) and she was second again in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21.
Private Secretary finished a close third in the Group 3 Sensis Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day in her only race start of the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival and she was second in the Listed Colin McAlpine Memorial Classic (1200m) at Eagle Farm on November 26.
Defending champion I Am Zelady returned to her best form in the Magic Millions Fillies & Mares to finish a game second, while well-backed favourite Egyptian Symbol was one of the first horses beaten.