Testashadow got his nose down at the right time to score an upset victory in a thrilling edition of the 2017 Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
In the final 100 metres of the race there were still countless winning chances and Testashadow, Perfect Dare, Snippets Land and Off The Rails hit the line at an identical time, but it was Testashadow that was the clear winner when the photo became public.
Trainer Gary Portelli gave the Magic Millions Cup ride to apprentice hoop Deanne Panya rather than a more experienced senior jockey and he said after the race that he was always confident that Panya would get the best out of the son of Testa Rossa.
“It was a great ride by the girl,” Portelli said.
“This horse runs so well for her Deanne Panya.
“She is an apprentice, I took the odds to put her back on this horse and she has got a few on him now.
“What a ride – the sprint was on, she backed out of it and she came to the corner cantering.
“I thought he was home, but he just kept ducking in a few times and she had to stop and stoke him a few times.
“Watching it live I was resigned to getting second, third or fourth.”
Panya was the only apprentice riding on the Magic Millions Day card and she showed the poise of a much more experienced jockey to help Testashadow return to winning form.
The young hoop was clearly delighted to have recorded the biggest win of her riding career in the Magic Millions Cup and she was quick to thank Portelli for giving her an opportunity in such a big race.
“I am over the moon,” Panya said.
“Gary Portelli has just been a lovely man and I am so happy that he has stuck with me.
“I really owe him big time.
“He fought hard and just kept going, he had all the fight in him.
“I actually didn’t think that I had won, I thought that we might have been down by a head-bobber on the outside.
“I wasn’t too happy until I came back, saw the screen and our name was on the board.”
Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler was well-backed in the lead-up to the Magic Millions Cup, but he had no luck in running whatsoever and was never able to get into the race.